BL17 FINAL - Page 51



Ea t
we ll
W ITH S IT W E L L
TH ANKS
A BUNCH !
British grapes are the gift that just
keep on giving to a burgeoning trade
I
S H U TT E R S TO C K
was doing up the old
greenhouse in our garden
in Northamptonshire and
decided to show no
mercy to a vine that grew in
the corner. It had forced its
way across the tables and
was straddling the glass roof,
its tentacles manically
stretching out, and in many
places clawing through
cracks in the glass. So I took
a blade and a saw to this
many-headed viper. I
couldn’t remember having
a decent grape from it, so if
my savagery killed it I would
not weep into my pillow.
As the months passed by,
I didn’t visit the greenhouse.
Then a local friend came to
pick apples. “Your apples
are good but your grapes are
sensational,” he told me.
“What grapes?” I replied. He
led me to the greenhouse
and there, in the corner,
heaving under a fresh green
canopy, were thick bunches
of purple grapes. I popped
one in my mouth, savouring
the rich sweetness. Then
another, and another, and
51
BOISDALELIFE .COM
AUTUMN 2019
ISSUE 17
then picked several heavy
bunches and brought them
into the house.
Our splendid vine
reminds me of this plant’s
epic power. Think of it
pushing deep down through
dense soil, stone and rock,
heading for water. And then
miraculously sending that
moisture up to the surface
to feed those grapes. And
what an extraordinary feat
of nature that grapes, when
squished and turned into
wine, can offer flavours
of chocolate, gooseberry,
blackcurrant and more.
As I salute the mighty
grape this month, we should
applaud the amazing work
of Mark Driver, interviewed
by Ed Cumming on page 52,
doing extraordinary things
with grapes down in Sussex.
His Rathfinny vineyard is an
example of the quite
exceptional things English
wine makers are now
achieving with the plucky
grape. Let’s raise a glass to
vines and English wine!
William Sitwell





Powered by


Full screen Click to read
Paperturn flip book viewer
Search
Overview
Download as PDF
Print
Shopping cart
Full screen
Exit full screen