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Historic cottage with English vineyard listed for sale

A Grade II listed cottage with an estate covering more than eight hectares and encompassing a vineyard could offer prospective buyers a route into the burgeoning English wine scene.

Sealwood Cottage Farm in Derbyshire, central England, has been put up for sale with a guide price of £1.4m ($1.66m).

A five-bedroom, Grade II-listed cottage is the focal point for the 8.68-hectare (21.44 acres) estate, but it also features a vineyard of around 1.6ha established by the current owners, John and Elisabeth Goodall.

Listing agent Fisher German said the Swadlincote-based estate’s guide price doesn’t include ‘any apportionment of the [wine] business’, but the owners would be ‘open to separate negotiation’ for the Sealwood Cottage brand and website, among other elements.

Alongside restoring the cottage itself, the Goodalls planted 4,000 vines on the property in 2008 following an inspirational trip to Germany.

‘I had a pen friend from Germany since the 1970s and we decided to go and visit her,’ said John Goodall.

‘It was wine growing country and I noticed that the soil was very similar to that at home – light, free draining and sandy, and it started us thinking.’

Sealwood Cottage farm in Derbyshire.

From left: Elisabeth Goodall, Emily McPheat, and John Goodall outside Sealwood Cottage Farm enjoying a glass of wine made from their own vineyard. Photo credit: Fisher German.

A debut wine came two years after planting and it’s a project that has grown substantially since those early days.

‘We produced 820 bottles of red that first year and that has now grown to almost 13,000 bottles a year, including red, white and sparkling,’ said Goodall, who is now in his 70s and is planning to focus more on tasting wine than making it.

‘We sell through our website, farm shops and some food festivals and fairs. We also do wine tasting and tours of the vineyard, so it really has become something quite special.’

The couple are moving close by and said they would be happy to share expertise with the new owners.

Grape varieties currently planted include Rondo, Solaris, Regent, Ortega and Madeleine Angevine.

While owning and managing a vineyard can require significant upfront investment and long hours, the last couple of decades have been a boom period for UK wine production.

A recent study found that higher growing season temperatures are predicted over the next 20 years, which is likely to see more sites across the UK becoming suitable for vineyards.


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