A boutique winery backed by award-winning merchant Roberson will open in London later this year, bringing a growing trend for urban winemaking to the heart of the UK capital.
Gavin Monery, London Cru’s winemaker
From September, ‘London Cru‘ plans to truck 22 tonnes of hand-harvested grapes from quality French vineyards in Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon to produce wine in an old gin distillery in the Earls Court area.
The move echoes the development of urban winemaking in several cities in the US, including New York and San Francisco.
‘There’s such a thriving wine scene in London,’ said Gavin Monery, London Cru’s winemaker, who has worked for top wineries Cullen Wines, Moss Wood and Jean-Louis Chave.
Alongside Roberson Wine founder Cliff Roberson, the winery is also backed by investor Will Tomlinson.
‘It will be premium wine, but affordable,’ Monery told Decanter.com.
It’s early days, but initial production should be around 17,000 bottles, for release from mid-2014.
Monery has no concerns over quality issues during transport, which will see grapes chilled and packed in small crates. Californian grapes take five days to reach some urban wineries in New York, he said. ‘We’ll be getting them there in 36 hours.’
London Cru will open to the public in November and will offer tours, tastings and private hire as an event space. Further ahead, the team could consider consumer blending sessions.
Roberson was crowned London’s best wine merchant at the 2012 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Written by Chris Mercer