Juices start to flow as the sugar levels continue to rise
The summer holidays are finally over and they really have been fantastic for us this year. With permanent help in the shop for the first time, I have been a little less stressed and able to enjoy time with the little Polgoonies rather than feeling strung out.
We have enjoyed the weather, made the most of living so close to the beach and finished the holidays with a trip to North Cornwall to stay in the most amazing East Thorne yurts, near Bude.
It is a long time since I have been camping and I was a little apprehensive. Despite this I was determined to get some quality time away and with everything taken care of at Polgoon there really was no reason for me not to go.
Unfortunately Mr C could not join us. He was busy picking and pressing apples, but we had a great few days, and to be honest it is not really camping. Each yurt has a hand-made wooden bed, two single futons, a wood burner, tables and chairs, a well-equipped cooking area and a modern facility block with fabulous showers. We visited the beach at Bude, the magical St Nectans Glen and each evening a central campfire was lit and we joined other glampers with our bags of marshmallows and mugs of hot chocolate. As lovely as trips away are, I could not wait to get back to Polgoon and see how the grapes were looking in the vineyard after just a few days. Despite the change in the weather the sugar levels are continuing to rise and unbelievably there is talk of the first variety being picked within the week.
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It is a really important to time picking the grapes correctly to make the best wine possible. We are waiting for the perfect balance between sugar and acid levels to make our award-winning Polgoon wines.
The refractometer tests the sugar levels in the fruit then a simple calculation gives an indication of the alcohol that can be achieved from that fruit.
Georgia has become an expert at testing sugar levels using her Dad's refractometer and has taken to measuring any fruit she can find. I found her in the kitchen taking bites out of fruit and squeezing the juice from each fruit onto the glass lens of the hand-held refractometer and explaining to her sister what it is all about.
This time next week we may well have juiced our first grapes for our 2013 vintage.
Kim Coulson runs Polgoon vineyard, near Penzance, with husband John. Visit polgoon.co.uk.