In the words of Henry: chaos.


Another week goes by, and what a cold week it has been. While it certainly makes work at LWV a bit more of a challenge (frozen pipes, frozen fingers, leave anything on our hills for long enough and it will most definitely freeze over) there’s still plenty that needs to be done, wine to deliver and events to hold, so there’s no slowing down even with this slight meteorological mishap.

The events team went on a sommelier course this week as part of some training, which sounds like the best kind of training if you ask me (so I’ve been told there is more to it than just talking about wine and food pairings, but isn’t that enough of an incentive to sit through the rest?). All the staff at the Tasting Room take pride in being able to give our customers accurate and honest opinions on what we have to offer, and with their freshly updated wine knowledge be prepared for some fantastic vineyard tours and tasting events!

Meanwhile, Alice was a guest speaker with award-winning wine writer and journalist Will Lyons. The event was held in Leeds, which is just about close enough for us to justify the travel (if you read last week’s blog, you’ll know that our fatal flaw is how far removed we tend to be from everyone else; fortunately, that was not the case this time). While we are trying to get better at documenting our expeditions out of South Cave, sadly no photos made it from the corporate event, although by all accounts it was a huge success and Alice did a cracking job representing LWV.

Vines covered in frost

On the vineyard itself, Cam taught me Pruning: 101, and we began making our way across the vines that sit directly in front of the Tasting Room. Cam is, of course, a bit of an expert by now and made his way through the rows with ease. I… made my way. In my own time. While trying not to overthink which parts to prune. I’ve been kindly reminded by our chief viticulturist that pruning early is ill-advised because of all the nutrients that remain in the very ends of the plant, which slowly make their way back into the core of the vine as winter sets in. However, he did also add that our vineyards have incredibly plentiful soils, and due to our pruning methods anything we cut off goes straight back into the ground. Which made me feel slightly more comfortable as I continued working my way through 30 Acre - I mean this only in spirit, since the cold weather made for particularly uncomfortable conditions as the sun sank in the horizon and the wind continued to nip at us.

When we weren’t pruning, Tom and Cam started on some jobs for the Tasting Room. Thanks to their combined experiences and knowledge, we’re able to do a lot of these non-farming, non-wine making jobs ourselves. This week, that took the shape of creating a level space to the side of the Tasting Room to make way for a storage unit, and a ‘proper’ set of stairs for staff to use (because stone slabs and a railing made of branches are not, surprisingly, as safe as they sound). And as the icy weather really took a turn later into the week, they constructed some insulation for the water pipes too, ensuring the Tasting Room could still operate for all the events we had planned.

Vines after winter pruning at Little Wold Vineyard

Thanks to their efforts, everything took place (mostly) as planned! We had a lovely wedding; a sensational seventieth birthday bash; a wine and cheese night; and a vineyard tour (not to mention the cellar door, which we have open on Fridays and Sundays). While you may see the LWV team rushing round with all these events, you’ll never hear them grumble, hosting in the winter was once an impossible ask, and we’re so grateful for how far we have come and what we are yet to hold in this amazing space.

When I asked Henry what his week had been like, he jumped straight in with, “snow came three weeks early - chaos.” You know what they say about farmers and the weather - although he certainly had reason to complain as staff struggled to reach the top on Sunday! Tom went up - flu-filled but determined as ever - to salt the road and try to help the stragglers to the Tasting Room. But even after our best attempts were made, Alice, Tom and Henry decided to close the main entrance to the vineyard, although people who came on foot were still welcome to pop by as usual. This story does have a happy ending though, as by midday the snow and ice had receded, allowing for safe passage for all cars up and down the track.

So, while we’re obviously sad to see the snow disappear, we would by lying here at LWV if we said we weren’t a little grateful for the return of milder weather (you’ll still find me and Cam wearing at least three to five layers of clothing as we continue pruning though, I said the weather was milder, not comfortable).

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