It may have been our November walk but Surrey’s countryside was behaving a little strangely for this time of the year. And we sensed a youthful enthusiasm in our own steps as we climbed 330 feet to the top of Denbies Vineyard – where Kay Rouse spotted this glorious Primula sharing our enjoyment of the unanticipated sunshine.
With spectacular views of Dorking and the gap in the hills between the North and South Downs we didn’t seem to have noticed the steady climb that we’d just made – taking it all in our stride we simply thanked nature for this break in the rain we’ve been experiencing recently.
What goes up of course has also to come down but Kay’s husband Steve who planned this route for us had a twist up his sleeve. Half way back towards where we had left our cars our route turned to the left and started to climb again. If anyone was ever harbouring any doubts about our abilities to master these sorts of challenges they were quickly overcome.
All around us was the clear evidence of where the Denbies winemakers got the name for one of their most renowned whites.
We were surrounded by Surrey Gold of the most natural kind and the vines that will produce next year’s vintage and beyond looked in excellent shape.
It’s boasted here that the chalkiness in the land of these downs is an extension of the terroir in which French champagne is produced. The way we saw it on our November walk, none of us should doubt the confidence of the founders of this English vineyard back in the 1980s that one day the wines produced here will match the best available anywhere.
Several of us believe they’ve already achieved that.
Thanks to our leader for the day Stephen Rouse and to Steve Mustoe who coordinates our monthly walk programme. With December ’s expedition still to come 2022 is beginning to look like its own sort of vintage year for all of us who enjoy walking with Moleside.
For more reports on our recent club walks click on the Tags below.