England & Wales–biodynamics, organics

Wine-growing in England and Wales is undergoing something of a boom. Local investors–spurred by tax incentives–and foreign ones (notably deep-pocketed Champagne houses) have been piling in. The vineyard area doubled between 2009 and 2017 to 2,650-ha. Investors see ‘global warming’ as making wine-growing in the chilly (and windy) climes of the UK increasingly commercially viable. Data actually suggests the UK climate may get cooler and wetter with climate change. Only 4% of UK vineyards are organic/biodynamic. Here are the names of some of the key ones:

  • Albury Organic Vineyard* whose Chardonnay grapes feature in the photo above. I used these for my sparkling wine called ‘Monty’s Pet Nat‘ in 2014. Owned by Nick Wenman, biodynamic practices.
  • Ancre Hill Wales. Biodynamic. Outstanding producer.
  • Avonleigh Small biodynamic vineyard neat the Roman city of Bath.
  • Chevelswarde South Kilworth, Leicestershire. UK’s first certified organic vineyard.
  • Davenport Will Davenport makes wine under contract for many of the UK’s smaller bio vineyards and has his own vines in Sussex. Outstanding producer.
  • Forty Hall Community Vineyard Enfield. Greater London’s first commercial vineyard since medieval times. Run very ably by volunteers. Wines made by Will Davenport, above.
  • Laverstoke Park Hampshire. Huge mixed farm with a small vineyard owned by former racing driver Jody Scheckter.
  • Limeburn Hill New project created by Robin and Georgina Snowdon near Bristol. Planted as biodynamic.
  • Llaethliw Vineyard on Wales’s west coast.
  • Quoins Organic Vineyard Wiltshire. Alan Chubb has planted disease-resistant varieties. Sensible chap.
  • Sedlescombe Sussex. Roy Cook is one of England’s organic wine pioneers. Now biodynamic.
  • Shire Farm Small vineyard part of one of the UK’s largest Biodynamic farms, in Lincolnshire.
  • Wernduu in Wales. Vines plus alpacas for woollens which the owners sell direct. May come in handy if the UK really does get cooler with climate change