Bottling the wine

To fill and cap 2,000 bottles you need friends and family and a great team spirit.

The whole operation is done manually taking the best part of a day.

A BBQ after all the work was appreciated.

Ingenious Graham Findlay

Looking in the mirror each morning to find an older gent rather than a teenager grinning back brings me daily disappointment, which is only compounded by the occasional twitch from my overworked bones. Life with the vines is generally more grind than glamour and the demands of pruning and generally tending the vines was taking its toll on my back.

It was then that the ingenious Graham Findlay of Biggins Farm, Much Hadham, came to the rescue. Graham is a metal sculptor and, using  his deep knowledge of design and metal fabrication, he created my best friend 'Jennifer', a sit-on three-wheeled trolley that fits between the rows of vines, with a basket on the back to carry the pruned trimmings away.

Jennifer is not exactly a sculpture, but I think she's beautiful and I have spent countless hours on her seat, pushing myself along the rows in all weathers, a daily task that I just could not have done without her.

Once again I am in awe of the skills available through artisans right here on my doorstep, so if you have a metalwork sculpture project in mind or are just nosy about what Graham can do, take a look at his website: www.grahamfindlay.co.uk

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