Shrewsbury SY4 3AA
Lat / Long: 52.732259, -2.757432
Vineyard description: Around six hectares encompassing some 23,000-or-so vines on a moderately fertile, but slightly acid loamy and clay soil (Soilscape 8) in a natural arc, sloping down to a valley.
Grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc.
Rodington Road, Sugden Lane, Telford, Shropshire, Telford TF6 6ND
Lat / Long: 52.728147, -2.594988
Vineyard description: Rodington’s 1.6 hectares of vines slope gently southwards towards the Wrekin. The soil is slightly acidic, loamy and clayey, which has slightly impeded drainage, but where fertility is moderate to high (Soilscape 8).
Grapes: Bacchus, Ortega, Rondo, Seyval Blanc, Solaris.
UPDATE 24/07/2020: I dropped in on Rodington this morning, where I was delighted to see Ram Chahal hard at it as usual - not on the vines this time, but building a retaining wall for the raised garden in front of the house on-site.
I've not seen Ram for a while and the last I heard of him, through his daughter Manjit (at a farmers market in Wem of all places) he was suffering with a leg injury. Thankfully, he's fully recovered.
Ram told me the vineyard, like others around the county, had suffered quite badly with the frost in April, although for him it definitely sounds like a 'game of two halves'.
If you look at the Google maps picture on the right, it is the right half of the vineyard that suffered most. The grapes are in bud, but they are of an inconsistent size.
Luckily, the left hand side doesn't appear to have been as badly affected and seems to be more or less on track.
Ram expects a late harvest this year and told me he hasn't ruled out the possibility of creating a single rose blend from the fruit.
So there you are... If life gives you lemons, make rose!
He also introduced me to what's become known as a kind of 'accidental, barbecue Rondo'.
The story is that the wine was made from fruit left over when another producer forgot they'd wanted to buy it. Consequently, it stayed a little overlong on the vine, but the result was much more palatable than expected.
As attested to, it turns out, by a group of visitors to the vineyard who drank more or less nothing else over the course of a six-hour barbie.
Needless to say, I bought some. I'll let you know...
Welshpool Road, Rowton Castle, Shrewsbury
Lat / Long: 52.707960, -2889845
Vineyard description: Brand new (2020) vineyard on a south facing slope on the main Shrewsbury to Welshpool road. Around 7,500 vines planted on a greenfield site.
Grapes: Include Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, Solaris.
Young winemaker Zoe Evans probably needs no help in telling her story as she is brilliantly chronicling the birth of a brand new vineyard less than 10 minutes from Shrewsbury on her Facebook page.
Zoe reckons she could have her first crop ready to harvest in the autumn of 2021.