The growth of English wine in and around Herefordshire
The growth of English vineyards in the UK has been a fascinating journey to watch evolve over the past few years. After a couple of years of growing, we’re thrilled to have entered the category of English wine, and especially proud to be growing our vines in our home of Herefordshire. We love our surrounding area so much that we named our vineyard after it and dedicated all of the bottle designs to commemorating its heritage.
For those familiar with English wine it’s likely you’ll know of Kent, Sussex and Surrey as key hot spots for growers, with some of the most known English vineyards residing in these locations. But Herefordshire is not an area to be overlooked, as the number of vineyards continues to grow around the green spaces that we call home.
And what makes Herefordshire so brilliant for growing vines? Firstly, it's a place that’s already embedded into the world of food and drink. From exceptional agricultural roots to the famous cider country, Herefordshire is no stranger to creating premium, quality produce that’s enjoyed the world over. Many of the families here have inherited farms from their parents and grandparents, passing down the skills of cultivation in the UK.
Secondly, the soil in Herefordshire is rich and grapes simply love to settle into it and grow. Herefordshire also has little seasonal temperature variations, receiving moderate amounts of rainfall throughout the year, and this consistency in the climate helps the grapes to grow. Aspiring sommeliers may have spotted that we don’t plant the most common grapes found across the UK, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bacchus - grapes often found in Champagne. To date, the English wine category has largely mirrored the production of Champagne, with a core focus on English Sparkling which has put England on the map.
At our vineyard in Herefordshire, having worked carefully with the finest experts, we’ve selected the lesser known Rondo and Solaris grapes to best match our soil and create still, small-batch wines. With the Rondo, its resilient nature and ability to resist English chills has made it a perfect pairing for our estate, and is now producing incredibly fruity, medium bodied reds. The Solaris grape similarly thrives in the English climate, creating a crisp and delicate white. And our beloved Rosé 2022 vintage is a brilliant blend of the two.
The generations that have come before us at our farm would never have predicted we’d be planting vines and releasing English wine. As the climate has changed, we’ve adapted our approach to work with the evolving land and to help preserve the future of farming in the UK - which looks like it might just be in English vineyards.
In the coming years, we hope to open our vineyard doors to visitors and welcome you all to see the growing of our precious Rondo and Solaris grapes for yourselves. Until then, we’ll continue to deliver our wines to you around the UK, bringing a flavour of Herefordshire to your glasses.