A little about Wine
Wine has been made in England and Wales since Roman times but virtually disappeared in the early 20th century. Revived by enthusiasts in the 1950s and 1960s, English winemaking has grown rapidly in the last decade, with growing professionalism and quality. In recent years, the best English winemakers have repeatedly demonstrated in competitions and blind tastings that English sparkling wine can be as good as champagne (and the still wine can be pretty good as well). With soaring investment and publicity, production and demand are rising fast. There are now over 700 vineyards and over 130 wineries in the UK.
When the Grand Union Canal was built in the 1790s, and the tunnel opened in March 1805, the works created an immense amount of ironstone rubble, a lot of which was spread over the site of the future vineyard. This makes the ground very stony. Being so stony means regular ploughing is almost impossible but the shingle soil is well-drained and perfect for vines. The vineyard is south facing – to maximise the sunlight ripening the grapes
About the Vineyard
And it’s well-sheltered – warm and not too windy.
The field has been in our family for many years – our grandfather tried to grow wheat, without success; our parent grew wild flowers for seed, but this proved too difficult. Belinda’s husband Michael loved wine and vineyards and always said the field should be turned over to vines. When he died in 2010, it seemed a perfect memorial to plant a vineyard and see his vision through. We cleared the ground at the end of 2010 and gathered our first harvest in 2013.