4m high and sinking

Now, as I've been recounting what's happened overnight to people, I know what they're thinking. Why plant a vineyard near to a river? Well, it might be near a river, but it is quite a few metres higher than the river, and although the river floods every year, quite spectacularly at times, it doesn't even come close to worrying the high mound of river gravels that is home to the delicious mix of wine grapes



Last night that changed. Mad storms that left neighbouring villages encased in ice formed from foot deep hail downpours, the A30 blocked with 10ft snow drifts, and flooding here that not even the most ancient local farmer has seen. For context, that little trickle in the pic above is a drainage ditch running through the field. Stood in it my head would be level with the branch you can see on the first ridge. The water rose up and out of the ditch, over that first ridge (I'm 2m tall), across towards the vines and posts in the distance, up and onto that ridge and through that part of the vineyard....you can see the detritus that's collected around each vine. That's up 4m+ overnight and then back down again to the height you can see at 10am today. Astonishing. It flowed with such power that it took with it plastic bins from neighbouring farms, tree trunks, tore up apricot trees and even dislodged vineyard posts - which are metal and sunk the best part of three feet into the ground.



It's what was predicted - unpredictable events. Deluges without warning. The same amount of rain each year (give or take) just that we'd get it in unexpected deliveries. Welcome to the first instalment.

Go to Otter Farm | by Mark D