"My books are like water, those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water." Mark Twain
Updated July 28th 2017
The Old Stables
As anyone who knows us will be aware we have long been pushing to complete the works at the winery but without a signed lease we were pretty much hands tied. In April 2016 we finally took possession of the building officially with a signed lease at last in our hands.
Harvest across the UK generally was low in 2016, it was a challenging year with late spring and a late frost, coupled with a late arriving summer with a cold snap in October just to finish it off.
West Fisher was fortunate enough to secure a modest but quality harvest from our various vineyards however and have produced some of our best wines to date.
The 2016 Reichensteiner and Kent Gold are particularly popular as is our Titchfield Red. There is still a limited amount of Dry White Blush and Rock lodge Rose' from the 2015 harvest left in stock and of cours e Springfield Sparkling continues to be a successful seller for us. We plan to release the 2013 Regal in time for the Christmas markets and we released our first Apple wine in for years this spring..
We have since been working to gradually complete the last of the works with a new fitted kitchen, new WC, enlarged wine racks and new shelving to the bar area. We have added in some new seating and wine barrels for tables upstairs.
Our equipment has also increased with a shiny new 20 sheet wine filter, ROPP capping machine and champagne corking machine. Our tanks will soon be in purpose built racks ready to make way for larger stainless steel tanks in the main winery..
We have concluded that Worms Heath, due to its altitude is not suitable for a UK vineyard.
Another factor is the total lack of interest from the site owner who appears to have little or no interest in anyone taking over the site and making use of it.
We have now also identified a site in Nutfield that looks promising but for now we will hold off any further negotiations while we puch Garfield Farm along.
Our first mission in the coming months is completing the works to The Old Stables and submitting our premises license. Something we can't do until we get our lease sorted out once & for all.
Many of you will be aware that we took over Springfield's vineyard in January 2015 with a lot of work to do straight away.
Unfortunately it quickly became apparent that we can't come to terms with the owners, meaning that we are unable to manage the property as we wanted, leaving us with a poor harvest last year and the likely failure of the 2016 harvest.
We have since started looking further afield and have decided that we will eventually plant in Dorset, secificaly the Studland area near Swanage. We have already identified a number of potential sites and have spoken to several local people regarding our plans. We hope to find a suitable site within the next few years and plant as soon as possible.
Markets & Shows 2017
There have been a few changes this year to our regular markets. Guildford has been shelved until October and Sutton has now been cancelled by Simply Sutton. We have taken on some new markets this year as well with Ripley, Herne Bay and Ascot from August 2017 becomming regular venues. We also started attending Horsham from April and will be taking on some extra dates as Christmas approaches.
We have not attended Cowpie since 2015 but may attend in 2018, The Blindley Heath Country Show has been taken over and we have decided not to attend this year but again may attend in 2018. We will be attending the Heavy Horse Show in Shorham in September and had a fabulous time at The Ripley Grape & Grain Festival in June.
We will be attending the Eco Fair in Carshalton as usual this year on August 28th, we will have both our ciders available so you can enjoy a bottle of Scrumpy or a bottle of our new Lemon & Lime cider.
As usual we will be listing all our monthly markets on our markets page at the beginning of each month.
Our wines available for the coming year are Regal Quality Sparkling, Springfields Quality Sparkling, Kent Gold, Titchfield Red, Reichensteiner, Dry White Blush, Rock Lodge Rose' and Apple Wine as well as our Scrumpy cider and Lemon & Lime cider.
We are expanding our production capacity to above 10,000 bottles this year and have increased cider production to 3,000 litres.