London’s first commercial vineyard since medieval times has been planted today.
Nearly 1500 Bacchus vines were hand-planted at Forty Hall Organic Farm in the London Borough of Enfield.
‘Bacchus is ideally suited to cool climate wine production and produces a crisp, light white wine with Sauvignon characteristics of gooseberry and fresh grass. It’s a perfect wine for summer picnics,’ said Sarah Vaughan-Roberts, the vineyard manager.
Vaughan-Roberts hopes that the free-draining, gravelly soil at Forty Hall will become the ‘terroir’ of London wines.
The vineyard has been set up and funded by Capel Manor Horticultural College as part of a wider community project.
‘Imagine London’s Mayor toasting the opening of the Olympics with our very own London grown wine in 2012,’ said Steve Dowbiggin, chief executive of Capel Manor College.
‘Our vineyard will produce a range of still and sparkling wines of the highest quality which express the fresh, light and fruity characteristics of the best English wines.’
The Forty Hall wine will be sold directly to consumers within a ten mile radius of the vineyard and all profits will go towards promoting sustainable urban agriculture in the local area.
Written by Suzannah Ramsdale