Frost Fires and Clear Skies: Fighting Frost in Nottingham Vineyard

Drone shots show Nottinghamshire vineyard fighting frost with fire

Wolds Wine Estate in Stanton-on-the-Wolds have been fighting frost with fire this month trying to safeguard their vineyard from frost damage.

With the weather colder than usual after an incredibly wet winter the local vineyard has been lighting large candles to keep the temperature around the vines above freezing.

Large frost candles, often referred to as Bougies, are placed throughout the vineyard and lit when the temperature dropped below zero.

The heat from the candles then raises the temperatures around the vines by up to 3 degrees and protects the young buds and shoots susceptible to the freezing conditions. Any damage to the vines can have a significant impact on crop yields and wine production.

With the vines budding and shooting early this year it has been a particularly nervous time for the vineyard. Whilst some other English vineyards have already suffered frost damage, thankfully Wolds Wine Estate has managed to keep their vines alive- so far. They won’t be out of the danger zone until late May or early June, so it is a case of staying on Frost Watch for a few more weeks yet.

Estate owner and founder Rob Kalisiak says: “It has been an incredibly tough start to the year with the amount of rain that we have had and now the increased risk of frost. We have had four frost events through April this year (as opposed to just 1 last year) which has meant long nights staying out in the vineyard and trying to keep the heat up with the candles. It is a lot of effort, but later in the year when you taste the wines you realise it is all worth it. We anticipate a few more long cold nights ahead but hopefully we are through the worst of it and things will start to warm up.”

It is an incredible sight with the vineyard lit up by hundreds of tiny fires. Drone shots capture the beauty of the spectacle and it is amazing to see the vineyard lit up and the lights of Nottingham in the background.

The vineyard has also had comments that aeroplane passengers see the fires as they fly into East Midlands airport. Wolds Wine Estate’s first wine vintage will be available from May 2024 which will be available direct from the vineyard and in some bars and shops in the county and city.

If you’d like to learn more about English viticulture, then please book onto one of Wolds Wine Estate’s tours and tastings:

If you’d like to come and stay at the vineyard we offer glamping accommodation:

Posted on 29 April 2024

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Georgia Cowdrey