HomeNewsVineyard NewsSWVA waffle and walk days prove a resounding success

SWVA waffle and walk days prove a resounding success



31st July saw the second of the new self help meetings for West Country winegrowers instigated by Chair, Guy Smith.


This second meeting was at Wraxall Vineyard near Shepton Mallet in Somerset. It was well attended with over 30 of the region’s vinegrowers together with visitors from the Wessex Vineyards Association.


Discussion, at this crucial stage of a promising vintage, was of leaf-canopy management and disease and pest management, especially of how to deal with unwelcome newcomer, the Spotted Wing Drosophila, drosophila suzukii. This new fruit fly, originally from Japan, has spread rapidly across the country. It lays its eggs in unripe fruit, potentially spoiling an otherwise healthy crop of any soft fruit. Scary!


Wraxall Vineyard is one of the Region’s oldest, brought to life again by current owners Jacky Brayton and Brian Shirley after a fallow period. It is trained on Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) trellis. Brian talked about the pros and cons of the high-level, divided GDC training. The original vineyard had been GDC, and because of a large badger sett on neighbouring woodland, Brian and Jacky have continued with it for their extensive new plantings, partly to keep the grapes high up out of badger reach.




IntroductionsatWraxall Jacky_at_Wraxall


Members carried on chatting animatedly over a simple but delicious salad lunch that Jacky and Brian provided and that everyone chipped in for.


We were delighted to hear that WVA are copying these informal vineyard meetings. SWVA members are invited to their first, at Raimes Sparkling on 6 September.


The Region's first SWVA Waffle and Walk meeting was on 9th May at Guy Smith's own vineyard, Smith&Evans, at Aller, on a south facing slope with stunning views overlooking the Somerset levels, pictured below. Over 30 attendees included visitors from neighbouring Wessex VA including WineGB Chair Simon Robinson and WVA Chair Tim Ingram Hill. After introductions and a walk up to the highest point of the vineyard, discussion focused on vigour management, training systems, shoot selection and small vineyard management. Members, as at Wraxall, carried on chatting enthusiastically over lunch swapping experiences and tips.

SWVAWaffleAndWalkSmithEvans Guy_Smith_at_SmithEvans