British wine is thriving – and owning a vineyard property offers a whole new way of life.
British wines are scooping awards, beating blends from France, Italy and Spain and, as the industry thrives and quality improves, our dreams of days strolling among the vines in our own vineyards are becoming a reality.
In 2005, Damian and Fiona Walsh planted vines in their two-acre small holding near Saffron Walden in Essex.
Their crops yielded enough grapes, four years later, to make 1,750 bottles of fine wine. They’re not alone; the area under vine in the UK has grown by 175 per cent in the past ten years.
‘A lot of overseas buyers and investors are developing commercial vineyards in the South-East of England, while hobby vineyards make wonderful retirement projects,’ says Ed Dixon, head of rural asset management at Knight Frank.
Fiona signed up for a course at Plumpton College, East Sussex, they hired a consultant to do soil checks, then planted the grapes that grew into their first vintage of rosé, red and white wines.
‘It’s so satisfying,’ says Damian, ‘like creating a piece of art that is living and growing.’
The Walshes take the grapes to an organic vineyard near Colchester to be crushed into wine and juice. It is purely a hobby, not a commercial venture, so they do not harvest their grapes every year.
However, the thousands of bottles they lay down make them popular hosts.
The unreliable British weather can cause problems. Grapes need sunshine from April and May onwards and a late frost can spell disaster.
As a rule, the best weather conditions are found to the east of a line drawn between Salisbury and the Isle of Wight. Yet this is not to say that vine growing is impossible in other parts of Britain.
‘The mild micro-climate climate and rich soil in West Wales is good for vine growing, too,’ says Carol Peett, of West Wales Property Finders. http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk ‘Several small vineyards such as the Jabajak and the Velfrey have prospered already and I’m sure more will follow.’
Penarth House, Newtown, Mid Wales, grows the classic Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Created in 1999, their sparkling wine grapes were nominated for a Bronze Medal by wine experts Decanter in 2019.
The vineyard produces, on average, four tonnes of grapes a year, but in a good year the yield has reached 12 tonnes. …………….
The Daily Mail – Friday, 5th November 2021 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-10166261/Do-bottle-Buying-vineyard-property-offers-new-way-life.html
If you are thinking of moving to Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion, or buying a property here, give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can find your perfect property for you; be it a smallholding suitable to set up a vineyard, a cottage, a country house or a coastal retreat, whilst saving you time, stress and often money too.