Forty Hall Community Vineyard is Greater London’s first commercial vineyard since medieval times (see United Kingdom).
Based in the North London Borough of Enfield with sweeping views over the city, the vineyard is led and managed by volunteers (main contact is Sarah Vaughan Roberts) and is set up as a community driven, not-for-profit social enterprise offering mental health and wellbeing support to local people. Any profits generated will be used to promote sustainable urban agriculture. The vineyard will provide educational, volunteering and therapeutic horticulture opportunities to a wide range of local people. The project is in partnership with Capel Manor College [a local horticultural college] which has donated the land. The vineyard is situated at Forty Hall Organic Farm, which is leased to Capel Manor College by the London Borough of Enfield. Forty Hall Vineyard forms part of a wider college initiative which will establish the farm as a hub of local, organic food production.
FHV aims to produce upwards of 10,000 bottles from their organically grown vines which include the Champagne varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier and two less well-known varieties, Bacchus and Ortega for still wines. Winemaking is done with the help of winemaker, Will Davenport.
Vineyard | The vineyard comprises 4.04 hectares (10 acres) of Bacchus and Ortega for still wines and Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay for sparkling wines. The vineyard is unlikely to grow any bigger in the near future as there is limited land available on the farm where the enterprise is based.
Sarah Vaughan Roberts says ‘we originally planted one test acre at the top of our Warren Field in 2009 by hand with 100 volunteers. This was before we had any funding or any proper equipment. This crop was weakened by drought in the first year (in spite of hand watering) and was further badly damaged by a very late and severe frost in May 2010. We then decided to completely replant in 2013. This acre is still our most challenging site as it is incredibly dry and free draining and very exposed. Other areas of vineyard were planted as we were able to raise the funds in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The whole vineyard should be in production by 2017. We have been deliberately cautious about cropping of our vines too early and have sacrificed early cropping in favour of allowing the vines to get properly established. Our first small harvest of Ortega was in 2013 and we released our first wine at the Real Wine Fair in 2014 – we produced about 200 bottles. We had a second havest of Ortega and Bacchus in 2014 and released the wine as an Ortega Bacchus in 2015 – about 350 bottles. Following a good and much higher yielding harvest in 2015, we expect about 1600 bottles of 2016 Ortega and 600 bottles of 2016 Bacchus which we will sell as single varietal wines.’
Organic certification | 2016 First vintage with full organic certification.
London Sparkling Brut | 2013 This was the first release of Forty Hall Vineyard London Sparkling Brut. It was released in December 2015. Believed to be London’s first-ever sparkling wine. Made by Will Davenport. It is a traditional method sparkling wine from organically grown grapes, 70% Pinot Noir, 10% Pinot Meunier and 20% Chardonnay grapes. Just under 400 bottles. | 2014 The second vintage. Also around 400 bottles. same blend as the 2013. | 2015 The third release. Described as an ‘excellent, high-yielding harvest from maturing vines’. Around 2,000 bottles. 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier.
Bacchus | 2015 | Again, lovely acidity at the Real Wine Fair in Tobacco Dock 17-18th April 2016.
Ortega 2015 | Lovely aroma, lovely width and weight, really good at the Real Wine Fair in Tobacco Dock 17-18th April 2016.
Ortega-Bacchus | 2014 A still white wine from 70% Ortega and 30% Bacchus.
Forty Hall Community Vineyard Ltd
Forty Hall Farm
Forty Hill, Enfield, London EN2 9HA, England
Tel+44 (0)208 366 7511 (Mon & Wed only)
www.fortyhallvineyard.com | www.fortyhallvineyard.org.uk