Astley Vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the UK and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. The 4.5 acre plot in Worcestershire is on free draining Triassic sandy loam soil and on a hillside half a mile from the river Severn.
Tim Haywood decided that it was time to upgrade his equipment to make life easier, better control diseases and have a wholly organic regime with no chemical weed control under the vines.
As the vine rows are only 1.4m wide it was a challenge to find the perfect tractor but the 26hp Kubota proved up to the mark in terms of power, usability and comfort.
With the help of David Sayell of Vitifruit Equipment he spent a fun and productive day setting up the 200 litre MM air assisted sprayer and the Boisselet Pack Vintage under vine cultivator. The Boisselet suits both soil and tractor and with a little tweaking Tim completed a weeding pass of the entire vineyard by the end of March. As the Pack Vintage requires no oil flow it can be used on small tractors with no hydraulics and is therefore very reasonably priced instead relying on a time tested sensor bar with spring and parallelogram system to touch and move around the vines. So happy 50th Birthday Astley Vineyard and best wishes for the future.