The Corona virus is bringing human life to something of a standstill around the globe but the natural world is not paying any attention and in the vineyard at Burge’s Field the vines are emerging from winter dormancy. We make sure the sheep, grass mowers for the last six weeks, are moved elsewhere before bud break when the vines push this year’s leaves into the astonishing April sunshine.

...fragrant little nuggets of poo...

There are relics of the sheep's stay all over the place - tufts of wool on the trellising where a back was scratched, dainty little footprints in the dry, crusted mud and, best of all, fragrant little nuggets of poo that, once broken down by dung-beetles and a host of other insects, will provide long-term nutrition and vital organic content to our soils.

So the winter chores of pruning last year's canopy, pulling out the old wood and tying down this year's canes are all but done and, as the delicate leaves start to unfurl we move on to the horrors of frost watch. The vineyard alleys are lined with candles, the temperature gauges ping out their warnings at two o'clock in the morning and everything - fingers, toes and legs - is resolutely crossed...

We've been lucky to be able to work in the vineyard over these last three weeks of lockdown. It's been staggeringly beautiful, strangely quiet and very calm but, from now until October, the worries come not single spies...