Small Business Breakfast Meeting Notes – October 2019

October’s Small Business Breakfast welcomed local business owners to the Queenswood B&B in Cradley.

At the Blue Ginger Gallery there is an exhibition from October 9 to November 24 called Wanderlust

We are always on the lookout for presenters and the “day in the life of” format is popular if you want to put yourself forward.

featuring travel and exploration inspired work curated by wildlife artist Shelly Perkins.

The Clover Mill is pleased to announced that 5 twin lodges are now available for retreats and it is also starting to run supper clubs.

Jeanie Falconer gave an excellent talk on running Frome Valley Vineyard 

Key points were:

  • There are 4.5 acres with 5-6000 vines which produced from 4-9000 bottles per year depending on weather conditions.
  • A good harvest in October depends upon enough sun to allow the acid in the crop to be converted into sugar which in turn yields alcohol for the wine.
  • The vines are allowed to go dormant after harvest so that the juices recede back into the roots.
  • In January/February it takes 20 person days to prune the vineyard to prevent foliage growth.
  • The scene is then set for multiple year yields
  • In late April the buds burst and in early summer the flowers are wind pollinated.
  • In late summer the berry turns into grape ready for harvest.
  • There are 7 varieties of grape that vary from a vigorous taste through to creamy and light/floral tasting.
  • The English grape is very delicate and difficult to turn into wine. Polytunnels help in an English climate and the strength reaches a maximum of 11.5%.
  • Ladybirds are used for biological control of aphids but some spraying is also necessary.  
  • Chicken feed and wood chip suppress growth at the bottom of the vines.
  • Tours and tastings at the winery are available for groups of 20-30 people.
  • Orphans Press are the label makers and there are plans to modernise the branding.
  • The target market are people who are interested in local wines rather than mainstream supermarkets.
  • A call and deliver service is available for wine purchases.

Meetings are usually held on the first Friday of each month at 8am.
The next meeting will be hosted by Stuart and Pauline Diplock on
Friday 1st November at Queenswood in Cradley, WR13 5NF. Speaker Carol Unwin Landscape Gardener sharing insights into staging a large project

The cost is just £5 for the Cradley SBB meeting.

IMPORTANT! Please reply when you get the upcoming meeting email letting us know whether you are coming or not. The meeting will be held anyway, but it helps us greatly with food ordering.

Dave Bird 07824 661038

Fran Doidge 07974 400575
Sarah Higginson 07896 153732