Sussex Vine and Wine
These instructions are sent with the plant gift
Grape Vines are surprisingly well suited to the UK climate. In the right spot they are vigorous growers and can produce heavy crops of fruit from August to October.
Your grapevine will do best in a sunny but sheltered spot, ideally south facing with shaded or cool roots in summer. Grapevines need to be protected from cold winds, but they are fairly frost hardy and will put on fresh and vigorous leaf growth in the spring. Vines do well in a variety of soils but chalky and silty soils are prized by wine makers for the subtle flavours they add to the wine. Please check the label on your vine for more specific details on grape variety and suitable positions for your vine.
Ideally your grapevine should be transplanted shortly after arrival either into a larger pot or barrel or into the ground. Grapevines can be planted at almost any time of year as long as the ground is frost free. Before planting, submerge the pot in a bucket of water for 10 minutes and add a top dressing of seaweed feed or fish, blood and bone to help it get settled in. If you want to keep your vine in its existing pot for a little longer for whatever reason, it will need regular watering, and will appreciate some ordinary liquid feed.
To get the best fruit from your grapevine, you do need to start pruning it next year. The results are well worth the effort!
Mildew is the greatest problem with grapevines but many of the newer varieties have a good resistance. Mildew is caused by prolonged damp conditions or by irregular watering, if your plant is in a pot try moving it to a sunnier position and always train it to encourage airflow round each branch.
Grapevines are deciduous so don’t be alarmed if it drops its leaves over the winter. Different varieties are better suited to wine making or eating but don't forget the more sunshine the fruits receive the sweeter the grapes will taste.