Laverstoke Park Farm | A large-scale mixed farm and vineyard in Hampshire in the South of England.
Background | Laverstoke Park House was built in the 18th-century for Henri Portal, who used the purity of the water in the local chalk streams to produce bank notes for the Bank of England. At that time Laverstoke comprised 4,860 hectares (12,000 acres) estate but this had fallen to 215 hectares (530 acres) in the mid-1990s when it was bought by Jody Scheckter. He is originally from South Africa and was a Formula 1 racing driver in the 1970s. He went to the US and started a company specialising in weapons simulation and training programmes. His wife is English.
Motto | “The Biggest Small-Holding in the World”.
Vineyards | A small area was intially planted in 2006 under the supervision of German-born Ernst Weiss, then the majority was planted in 2007. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier were planted for traditional method sparkling wine. Vine density of 5,000 vines per hectare (2,225 vines per acre).
Biodynamics | 2009 A large concrete flow form capabale of holding 2,000 litres (528 US gallons) was being used to to dynamize (stir) Biodynamic field spray preparations 500, 501 and 508. This was also being used to dynamize (aerate) teas and compost teas. This gave very good results which the estate’s on-site laboratory (see below) tested (Darryl Kemp, perso communication).
Polyculture | Heritage breeds of cattle, water buffalo, pigs, wild boar, sheep, and poultry. Hop garden.
Biodynamic certification | 2009 First vintage with full Demeter Biodynamic certification. 2016 2.5 hectares plus 10.52 hectares = 13.02 hectares (32 acres) of certified Biodynamic vines.
On-site Laboratory | Laverstoke has worked with Dr Elaine Ingham (‘Soil Food Web’) on setting up a lab which allows checks to be made on the micro-biology in the soil to assist in selecting the best soil rotation, or in the estate’s compost and compost teas.
Winemaking | Michel Salgues is consulting.
Laverstoke Park Farm
Overton, Hampshire RG25 3DR, England