More Wine Less Whine

Yesterday we bottled the Vidal Blanc wine from last seasons grapes.


The wine has been working in its little glass barrels for almost a year now.


And the little taste I was allowed before it flowed through the pipes and into the bottles led me to believe that this will be a definite improvement on the 2011. No more cleaning fluid notes. Though the wine is in shock from the bottling for a wee while yet. A proper taste will not be had for a month or so yet. This is why Our John hates to bottle it as I keep having to taste it. And it would benefit from a good sit in the bottles.

Vidal Blanc is meant to be a sweeter wine. So, last year we picked late, after the first of the frosts. This year the peahens are locked up  in their Peahen Palace, they ate a good third of my crop last year, so there is a chance we will get more grapes and I am tempted to try for an ice wine, leaving the grapes on the vine right through to the first hard freeze.

This means less wine, but we may get as far as producing a real sticky dessert wine which is my objective.

damage-004 Sheila. I love Sheila. She is trying to talk me into leaving Charlotte in the rat house paddock. damage-007 Though I think that Charlotte is over the fighting now and wants to be friends. They are divided by this gate and it is still in good shape, so in a few days I will put them together and see how they get on. My first attempt resulted in a ferocious pig fight. Both came away with scrapes and bites. damage-014 The Lady Vet came out yesterday and took blood from Queenie and Daisy for their pregnancy tests. I brought Daisy into a stall, she saw the Lady Vet and quick as a whip she jack-knifed like a truck in a canyon, and jammed her rear into a corner. She was not having any of it. She does not like the Lady Vet one tiny bit.  And as I have said before she is a huge cow, being IN a pen with a huge ton of furious cow, showing the whites of her eyes is a little unnerving but with some trickery  and soothing words I got her tied up and it only takes seconds to draw blood. The vein is underneath the base of their tail so it is fairly easy to draw.  We should have the results within the week. damage-019That bad storm the other day leveled much of the sweetcorn and dumped the rest of the cooking apples on the ground. That’s OK, the pigs and I are happy to share the windfalls. My stash of apple sauce is growing nicely. damage-021 This cool weather is not helping my tomatoes ripen but the aubergine is loving it.damage-022

Good morning. It is dawning fine and clear again.  Another excellent day to work in. The man is coming today to scrounge about the sheds for materials and start to build the mobile chicken run. I am very much looking forward to this taking shape. Nothing pleases me more than having animals and birds out on the grass. And the thought of a mobile field fertiliser is deeply pleasing. Chicken poop is very high in nitrogen, one of the best fertilisers you can get,  so I will be watching the regrowth carefully.  The chicken tractor will be moved daily, maybe even twice a day and when they are bigger there will be a little door so they can come out and free range in the day time and be tucked up in their house for the nights.

Now, I had better get my own tractor out and go into the field to cut more sweetcorn and their stalks for the animals. They love them.

Have a lovely day won’t you. Find loveliness in your day if you can. Each day is so precious.

Your friend, celi

44 Comments on “More Wine Less Whine

  1. Don’t you just love the look on Sheila’s face!,

    You have a great day too Celi mydear

  2. Mmmm, the colour of that wine looks delicious. I’m ashamed to say my mouth is watering. I absolutely LOVED ice wine, the few times I have tried it (in NZ) so I would definitely recommend giving it a go! On days like today I wish more than anything that I had a farm exactly like yours 🙂

    • the only reason that i shy off ice wine is that by then the grapes are so small and so concentrated that there is considerably less wine and with wine my thought is More is More! This year we will be making pear cider as well as apple cider, so I can do less wine. If that makes any sense at all!! c

  3. Glad to see that you are covering all the food groups in your aim to be self sufficient! Those eggplants look delcious.

  4. Wine not Whine is my new mantra! I didn’t know about ice wine – there was I thinking you were about to add ice cubes to your wine. I should have known better. Oh and I long to be able to grow aubergines, simply long, one day when I have the time and a bigger/better greenhouse…….

    • I ignored it for you, i must check and see if you have gone into the spam folder.. sometimes it collects comments.. wonderful and yes please, your recipes are always welcome! I got a few the other day too.. we dine well using your flavours… c

  5. That wine is a gorgeous colour – warms the cockles of my heart even without tasting it. However they say the more sugar the worse the headache 😦 Hope the Shush sisters become friends again and hopefully we are looking forward to two cute calves in the spring. Hope there is loveliness in your day too 🙂 Laura

    • Oh is that what they say!? I thought they said the More WINE the worse the headache and yes little sticky wines are usually bottled in little sticky bottles due to their potency (and expense) I am sure. If I do try and make one I shall go to the little bottles too! c

  6. Cecilia, I have to tell you of my wine making on the farm.. we had quite a stand of “Katorva” grapes… a small black skinned, not good eating, we decided to try our hand at wine making with advice from a local… his advice was for every 4, 5 gallons we must add a bottle of 750ml brandy, this will stop the wine from ever turning vinegar like… well I miss understood him and when it came time to bottle the wine we carefully measured it all up and added a litre of brandy for every 4.5 litres of wine… Bottled, corked and stored we only opened the first bottle after about 3 months… it was the loveliest of colours with a good nose and tasted like a very sweet sherry…. it went down like cool-drink and after the second bottle the legs seemed to not operate anymore… there was no feeling of being inebriated, just the legs didn’t want to work… I spoke the next day with our adviser (I, suffering from one hell of a headache) he pointed out the mistake and immediately asked for a bottle… it was very popular with all my friends as you can well imagine, but a little more caution was used in the future… lovely wine though…

    • merciful heaven! That takes wine making to a whole new level.. I am not sure I should tell Our John about this!! I hope you went to shot glasses for tasting the rest of the vintage! Though like your friends I would not have minded a bottle either!!.. wonderful if somewhat terrifying story. No legs! Isn’t there a saying about wine, it has Good Legs.. or something like that..c

      • Oh yes this was potent without the feeling of getting on ones plonk… it was shot glasses for the rest of the bottles…

  7. the wine is beautiful! i hope it turns out to be as good as it looks. i love ice wine! something has caused my grapes to wilt. in fact, my cucumbers wilted too. not a great garden year. i am getting ichiban eggplants but none of my big ones have grown. i hope the shush sisters will become best friends again!

    • How strange that the grapes are wilting, is something eating the roots?, that is no good at all.. c

  8. Sheila looks fantastic – poor girls, I hope the hormones have settled down now. They must really miss each other. I can’t imagine having to get between them in a fight!

  9. It will be such fun if the bovine are with calf ….hope the Shush sisters
    can get back to peaceful times as they were fun together !
    Have a safe… productive week !

  10. You’re running quite the distillery, Celi. I remember how disappointed you were with both the peacocks and the wine last year. Good to see this year’s improvement. I’m sure Daisy isn’t the only large farm animal to distrust the vet. I bet she — the vet, not Daisy — has some stories to tell. Have a great day, Celi!

  11. Sheila. What a star. And the wine looks nice! Celi, I always feel a little humbled here. You look at the small calamities of life – wind which destroys sweetcorn, fallen apples – and you turn it on its head and you say: it’s not so bad….

  12. I love to cook with wine…..sometimes I even put it in the food! 🙂

  13. What a rich color your wine has, I’ll bet it will be wonderful when it has rested. I do hope Sheila and Charlotte can be buddies again. We are still reveling in the great sweet corn around here…the only thing that would make it better was if we could grow it ourselves. Have a great day!

  14. Your wine looks like honey–nectar of the gods. Why do pigs have such unusual noses?

    • That is a very good question, they do a lot of digging in the ground for grubs, roots and minerals. so i guess it is all about the biggest hoover! c

  15. I so wish I had your energy! Nevertheless, I do enjoy every day and am grateful for the privilege. Wishing you a lovely farmy day. X

  16. Poor Daisy. She just can’t trust that Lady Vet any more. I hope you get good news.

  17. I don’t blame Daisy one bit for not liking needles or Vets! 😉 Your wine looks lovely, I could almost taste it from here.

    Hopefully the piggy sisters will be back to normal soon. I’m an only child but I remember some amazing fights between some of my friends and their sisters. Maybe it holds true for the pig world too?

    Hope you had a lovely day! ~ April

  18. I’m thinking of your gloriously glowing golden wine and wishing it bon vivant… actually I’m thinking about the joys of partaking of it, and the wonder that from a bunch of grapes such good things do come 😉

  19. Although I like my wines dry and drier and driest, I love the colour you have produced! Reminds me of a Provencal rose I used to love called ‘Cendres de Novembre’ [OK, the French readers can correct 🙂 !] – that wonderful almost orangey tone!! And why can’t the Shush Sisters get along all of a sudden: jealous Auntie Sheila? Tut, tut!!!!!

    • do you remember when Charlotte was pregnant she got progressively meaner and i had to take Sheila out. Hopefully she will adjust but it is definitely Char who is being the aggressor and i am mystified as to why..

      • Yep, do remember . . . 🙂 ! Perhaps she did not like her gravid state nor all those squealy ones popping out when Sheila seemed to be playing Lady Muck . . .?

  20. Hi Cecilia, I went through a wine making phase a couple of years ago and made about 22 varieties of fruit and herb wines. Some were actually surprisingly nice. Then I got distracted by something else and haven’t made any since. You have reminded me of this – I should really get back to it. it was loads of fun. There are still some bottles hanging around somewhere … I wonder how well they have aged!
    Cheers Sarah : o )

    • Hi sarah, fancy you having wine just hanging about the place, remind me to pop in next time i am home!! my wine is notoriously horrible but i do have fun drinking it!!

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