The vines have established well and our preparations to open the farm to the public are drawing to a close. Grapes are ripening and the excitement that surrounds harvest time is nearly upon us.
No two years are the same. This coming harvest will be our third vintage, ’17 & ’18 were very different and ’19 will be different again, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you may be concerned that because we’ve had the odd bit of iffy weather, that ’19 would somehow fall short of ’18. This is England however, and a bit of iffy weather is par for the course in August, so although harvest is looking to be about a week or two behind last year, as it stands the quality is looking excellent and yield just a touch behind last year. We’re working with some new growers this year and looking forward to bringing in some new grape varieties into the winery and again we’ll be experimenting and honing our craft ahead of our first grapes coming in next year.
As I’ve touched on the subject of our growers, I wanted to talk about where we sit in regards to natural wine and biodynamics. As we farm naturally and make wines in a natural way (low intervention, minimal or zero additions to our wines), we are keen to champion a more natural way of working and have pushed this agenda in our communications. While we’re waiting fir our own grapes to come online, we work with a selection of English grape growers, these growers are Organic, Biodynamic, some with certification, some without, and some are conventional, however all are farming well and what is essential in this early phase of our development is quality.
I have chosen to buy in grapes, as it’s a commercial necessity to us and yes it is a compromise. However looking to the bigger picture, our ambition, like our vision, is not small, neither is it anything less than altruistic, we believe passionately in farming without chemicals and allowing natural processes to do the heavy lifting for us.
The finishing touches to the rooms, restaurant, shop and bar are almost done. We will be opening our doors, finally, in late September. Initially we’ll be finding our way and opening up the various elements bit by bit.
The 11 rooms will be available five nights a week, Wednesday to Sunday starting on the 9th of October, with breakfast available on each of those days. However, while, we’re getting started, dinner service in the restaurant will be just three nights, Thursday to Saturday. The booking engine for rooms is going to take a bit more time to install than we thought, so for now, we’ll be taking enquiries for rooms on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our Stay page for details on the rooms and dates currently available.
The restaurant will be open to non-residents too and we’ll be opening a reservation system before we open. In the meantime you can email email@example.com for enquires for tables from 1st October onwards and check out the Eat page.
The downstairs bar/bottle shop will be open 7 days a week from 09:00 till 17:00 and later for residents and on the weekends, from the 9th of October. We will be open for drop ins and wine tours, and will be selling our wines, & ciders, as well as naturally made beverages from producers we love. We’ll be offering small plates and wood-fired pizza (weekends only). Residents can make use of this on the nights when we’re not opening the restaurant, in addition to the first-floor lounge.
See you here soon.