In the run up to Christmas, people start thinking about the big Christmas Day meal and drinks to go with it and specifically special wines.
This year we thought it would great to try and use local food and drinks as much as possible and I recently discovered there are lots of wine producers in Herefordshire, far more than I realised.
Some of them are too tiny to have their own websites, so a lot of the stuff I am sharing with you comes from various blogs and articles about wine in the county.
The UK wine industry is recognised as a premium wine-producing region, with English and Welsh wines winning many prestigious international awards. There are over 400 vineyards in England and Wales with 20 of those catalogued by the English Wine Producers marketing body based in Herefordshire!
Herefordshire’s south facing hills where clay soil sits on top of well draining sandstone provides great conditions for hybrid varieties of grape.
And amazingly, the National Vine Collection is based in Herefordshire! Sunnybank Vine Nursery in Rowlestone is where this collection is housed and they have an open day annually in September – make a date to come and stay with us to coincide with that if you are at all interested in heritage plants, vines and wine!
Not all the Herefordshire vineyards are open to the public and many of the ones that are, need to be contacted first to make an appointment. Listed are Beeches Vineyard, Castle Brook Vineyard, Frome Valley Vineyard, Lulham Court Vineyard, Pengethly Manor Hotel & Vineyard, Sparchall Vineyard and Wythall Estate.
Not listed by the English Wine Producers is Broadfield Court, which is about 10 miles from Brinsop Court and I think is probably the biggest in Herefordshire. It is apparently one of the UK’s oldest vineyards, although it only dates back to 1971. You can buy their wines at Broadfield Court.
Probably the best places to buy the Herefordshire wines are either at the Hop Pocket Wine Company which stocks a full range of Herefordshire wines and there is an opportunity to try before you buy. Alternatively, head to Tanners in Hereford City Centre or head out of town along the Brecon Road to Oakchurch Farm Shop – great for a trip out from Brinsop Court.
With thanks for the inspiration to Herefordshire Life’s interesting article “A tasting tour of Hereford’s Vineyards”, which when reading will make your taste buds tingle!