Visiting Turkish friends this summer, we were told we must visit their Uncle in Urla who, like us, has built a house on an acre of land and is growing his own. And what an inspiration it turned out to be.
Alongside the veg, figs and olives, smallholding Turkish style means a small personal vineyard, about 10 rows of vines producing about 250 bottles a year, which of course we felt duty bound to taste extensively whilst discussing the finer points of our respective wine and cider making.
The clever thing here is each row is a different variety, starting with a row of early white grapes, moving through late whites, early reds and finally late reds.
This means that each row is usually ready to harvest about two weeks apart across the season, making it manageable for one person to harvest and set fermenting each variety in turn without the need for additional help.
It revived our own thoughts of putting in a row of vines in the paddock, and a trip to our local Woodchester Valley Vineyard is on the cards, but I strongly suspect our soil isn’t right and the site is too exposed.