Pentreheyling SY15 6HU
Lat / Long: 52.529475, -3.117944
Vineyard description: Around two hectares of gently sloping vines, planted in 2010 on what was the Roman fort of Pentreheyling on slowly permeable, seasonally wet acid loamy/clay soil (Soilscape 17).
Grapes: Phoenix, Rondo, Solaris.
The Kerry Vale vineyard was set up by Geoff and the late June Ferguson in 2010, but after 10 years in production, the vineyard was bought by Russell and Janet Cooke, who returned to the UK after a number of years working abroad, most lately in the United States of America.
There is still a link with the Ferguson family, as Geoff will act as a consultant to the Russells for the time being, while the Fergusons' daughter, Nadine Roach, will continue to manage Kerry Vale's marketing and PR.
Having taken over in March, just before the effects of Covid-19 put the brakes on Kerry Vale's cafe and vineyard tours, the Cookes must be delighted to be reopening any day.
Update on Friday July 17...
I dropped into Kerry Vale on the off-chance this lunchtime to see the cafe in reasonably full swing and people taking a socially distanced advantage of the pretty garden next to the cafe.
I did manage to get a brief word with new owner Russell Cooke, who was busy serving customers. He tells me tours will start again at the vineyard at the end of this month, when he hopes to have on sale the 2018 vintage of the vineyard's sparkling red.
It occurred to me as I was driving away, however, that I'd conducted my whole introduction while wearing a mask. Not clever. My apologies to Russell.
Less clever still was to discover on reaching home that I'd been taking pictures in the vineyard and of Kerry Vale's new signage with no memory card in the camera. More of which in my forthcoming blog.
Did manage this with the phone, mind...
Recent purchase from Kerry Vale. The Shropshire Lady, Solaris crisp and not too dry, went down far too easily. The Rare Hare went as a gift, which leaves probably the best until last. Really looking forward to sampling the Rondo Reserve again. If you're ever at the vineyard, a sip or two of Rondo Reserve on a sunny day in the cafe garden is well worth the trip out.
Montgomery SY15 6LR
01686 670 301
Lat / Long: 52.527646, -3.189128
Vineyard description: Low fertility, slowly permeable seasonally wet acid loamy and clayey soils across 1.2 hectares. (Soilscape 17).
Clutton, SY14 7HZ
Lat / Long: 53.07408, -2.8549
Cheshire's largest commercial vineyard at three acres, the majority of its vines were planted in 1988. In 2008 the vines were reinstated and now produce around 6,000 bottles of Carden Park Estate Reserve a year, made of Seyval Blanc and Pinot Noir. Vinification is carried out at Halfpenny Green.
Chebsey, Eccleshall ST21 6ND
Lat / Long: 52.875556, -2.213656
Owners Liz and Rob Grove bought a barn conversion with adjoining vineyard in 2015 and decided to turn what had been a hobby for the previous owners into a commercial vineyard. The original owners planted 1,000 vines - Phoenix and Seyval Blanc, and Rondo. Liz and Rob blended the white grapes to produce a sparkling white and created a sparkling rosé with a blend including the Rondo.
Newtown SY16 3AN
Lat / Long: 52.522958, -3.268485
Vineyard description: Freely draining floodplain soils across 4 hectares. (Soilscape 12).
Grapes: Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir.
Penarth Vineyard sits on the south bank of the River Severn, just a few miles outside Newtown in Mid-Wales and only five miles or so from the vineyards at Montgomery and Kerry Vale. Proudly Welsh, the vineyard is included here because it is also in the SY postcode.
As another of the vine ‘millennials’ , the vineyard produced its first crop in 2003, harvested in the space of just a couple of days in a race against incoming heavy rain.
Penarth send their grapes to Martin Fawkes, winemaker at the renowned Three Choirs Vineyard nearly 90 miles away in Newent, Gloucestershire, for vinification.
Last year, Penarth won a prestigious Decanter International Wines and Spirits Award bronze medal for their white sparkling wine. Their grape brandy also won a bronze at the International Wines and Spirits Awards.
While the vineyard doesn’t run regular tours, they welcome visitors by appointment.
UPDATE July 22, 2020: While Penarth are currently closed for tours because of Covid-19 and have no immediate plans to reopen to the public, they do still have wine for sale. Contact them either on the phone or through Facebook Messenger.
Currently available are:
Pink Sparkling £23
White Sparkling £23
Sage Hill (sister vineyard) 2012 £21
Sage Hill 2014 £22
Grape brandy long bottle (50ml) £40
Oswestry SY10 0HX
07940 103 103
Lat / Long: 52.791312, -3.378346
Vineyard description: South facing slope to a tributary of the River Tanat. Freely draining acid loamy soils over rock on 0.4 hectares. (Soilscape 13).
Grapes: Dornfelder, Madeleine Angevine, Ortega, Pinot Noir, Regent, Rondo, Seyval Blanc, Solaris.