"My books are like water, those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water." Mark Twain
Updated October 13th 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 is now well under way and in some cases completed already!
We are awaiting delivery of our first 3 tons from Wiltshire, due next week, and the first of the harvest from our smaller growers later in the month. Another 1,000kg will come up from Wiltshire in a few weeks time, this time red varieties and we have already taken in our grapes from Hampshire.
Most of our smaller growers were badly affected by the late frost but we are still taking enquiries from other growers and we have some tank space available since we expanded our capacity quite a bit this year. In fact we tale delivery of another two 1,000 litre tanks next Wednesday.
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 smallefr 230 litre tanks are now settled into purpose built racking, our wines are in metal stillages and new equipment is on order for next years production. We also purchased an antique riddling rack as well.
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 push Garfield Farm along.
Our;premises license was our main goal at The Old Stables, which we secured without any problems whatsoever.
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 Regentl Quality Sparkling, Springfield Quality Sparkling, Kent Gold, Titchfield Red, Reichensteiner Dry White, Dry White Blush, Rock Lodge Rose' and Apple Wine as well as our Scrumpy cider.
We are expanding our production capacity to above 10,000 bottles this year and have increased cider production to 3,000 litres.