Penarth Estate Vineyard

08/07/2014

Penarth Fawr sits on the banks of the River Severn about a mile to the east of Newtown. The house dates from the fifteenth century and is a beautiful ‘black and white’ timber framed house so typical of Montgomeryshire.

Bernard Herbert, who hails from Shropshire, his wife Tanya, from the USA and their children came to Penarth Fawr in the late 90s after selling their restaurant business in the US. They wanted a better life for their children as well as an opportunity for Bernard to have a go at his hobby of growing vines to make wine.

This interest came from a number of trips to see vineyards all over the world, opportunities that came due to their wine bar and restaurant businesses in London. So began Penarth Estate.

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Bernard’s philosophy is to plant vines that are known for their quality and that’s why he decided to plant the Champagne varietals Pinot Noir, Chardonnay a Pinot Meunier. Some argued that they wouldn’t grow that far north but a small crop was harvested in 2002. Since then there have been more plantings and the vineyards now cover 3 hectares.

Most of the vineyard has been planted with the Champagne varietals but there are others for experimentation such as Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Rondo, Sauvignon Blanc and more.

The most interesting thing about the vineyard is the approach to making wine. Rather than decide to make a certain wine each year Bernard works with the climate.

In an average year they only make sparkling wine. They have three sparkling wines in the range all made in the traditional method, the same method that’s used for Champagne. One of the sparkling wines is made from a mix of the Champagne grapes, one is a rosé and the other is a ‘blanc de blanc’ style, that is a sparkling wine made from Chardonnay.

People started to sit up and take notice at the end of the 00s when their sparkling wine won an award from the famous wine magazine Decanter. Since then their sparkling rosé has also won an award.

In a year with a good harvest they make still wine but in a bad year the grapes are turned into a brandy, the only grape brandy in Wales.

Three Choirs and Halfpenny Green make the wine whilst the Brandy is distilled in Ludlow.

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Having businesses in London is a great help as they provide a ready route to market. There they sell their sparkling wines whilst the still wines are kept more for the local market. The sparkling wines are available locally too of course.

There aren’t any plans to increase the acreage as the next step would be to sell via supermarkets. This would mean a big step in terms of production but, because they are competitive on price, the profit from doing this isn’t worth it in Bernard’s opinion.

Nevertheless there are interesting plans for the future. At the moment a maturing warehouse is being built from straw bales covered by a lime wash. This interesting design will keep this ‘cellar’ at around 10˚C all year round. Finally, there are plans to build a winery so that they can make their wine on site.

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It is possible to visit the vineyard on occasion but prospective visitors need to make an appointment to arrange a visit. However, the wines are available in the lovely deli Quinces of Newtown.

Having had good weather in 2013 we might be able to expect some interesting wines available this year, the decision on what kind of wines to bottle is about to be made, we’ll see shortly what will be the Penarth Estate vintage 2013.

Gwinllan Penarth Estate

08/07/2014

Mae tŷ Penarth Fawr ar lannau’r Afon Hafren rhyw filltir i’r dwyrain o’r Drenewydd. Mae’n dyddio nôl i’r pymthegfed ganrif ac mae’n un o’r tai ‘du a gwyn’ ffram bren hyfryd sy’n nodweddiadol o Sir Drefaldwyn.

Daeth Bernard Herbert sy’n hanu o Swydd yr Amwythig, ei wraig Tanya sy’n hanu o’r Unol Daleithiau a’u plant i Benarth Fawr ar ddiwedd y 90au ar ôl gwerthu eu busnes bwyty yn yr UDA. Roeddynt eisiau bywyd gwell i’w plant a hefyd cyfle i Bernard roi cynnig ar ei ddiddordeb o geisio tyfu grawnwin er mwyn gwneud gwin.

Daeth y diddordeb hwn o wahanol dripiau i ymweld â gwinllannoedd ar hyd a lled y byd yn sgil eu busnes bwytai a barrau gwin yn Llundain. Felly dyna ddechrau ar Winllan Penarth.

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Athroniaeth Bernard yw plannu mathau o rawnwin sy’n adnabyddus am ei safon.Dyna pam y penderfynodd blannu’r grawnwin sy’n cael eu defnyddio i wneud Champagne – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay a Pinot Meunier. Er i rai ddadlau na fuasent yn tyfu mor bell i’r gogledd fe gafwyd cnwd bach yn 2002. Aethant wedyn i blannu mwy o winwydd ac mae yno bellach 3 hectar.

Mae’r rhan fwyaf o’r winllan wedi ei blannu gyda’r grawnwin Champagne ond mae yna hefyd rai eraill at ddibenion arbrofol megis Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Rondo, Sauvignon Blanc ac eraill.

Be sy’n fwyaf diddorol am y winllan yw’r agwedd tuag at wneud y gwin. Yn hytrach na phenderfynu gwneud y gwin yma neu’r llall bob blwyddyn mae Bernard yn gweithio gyda’r hinsawdd.

Mewn blwyddyn arferol maent yn gwneud gwin pefriog yn unig. Mae tri gwin pefriog ganddynt bob blwyddyn ac maent i gyd yn cael eu gwneud yn y dull traddodiadol, yr union ru’n fath a Champagne. Mae un o’r gwinoedd pefriog yn gymysgedd o rawnwin Champagne, un rhosliw pefriog ac un ‘blanc de blanc’, hynny ydi gwin pefriog wedi ei wneud o Chardonnay.

Fe ddechreuodd bobl gymryd y fenter o ddifrif ar ddiwedd yr 00au pan enillodd eu gwin pefriog wobr Decanter, sef y cylchgrawn gwin enwog.  Ers hynny mae eu gwin pefriog rhosliw hefyd wedi ennill gwobr.

Pan mae’r cynhaeaf yn dda maent yn gwneud gwin llonydd a pan mae’r tywydd yn wael mae’r holl gynnyrch yn cael ei droi’n frandi, yr unig frandi sydd wedi ei wneud o rawnwin yng Nghymru.

Yn Three Choirs a Halfpenny Green mae’r gwin yn cael ei wneud ar hyn o bryd ac yn Llwydlo mae’r brandi yn cael ei ddistyllu.

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Mae cael y busnesau yn Llundain yn hwb mawr oherwydd mae ganddynt farchnad barod i’w gwin. Yno maent yn gwerthu eu gwinoedd pefriog tra’n cadw eu gwinoedd llonydd i’r farchnad leol. Mae’r gwinoedd pefriog i gael yn lleol hefyd wrth gwrs.

Does dim cynllun i ehangu maint y winllan yn y dyfodol oherwydd y cam nesaf fyddai gwerthu trwy’r archfarchnadoedd. Golygai hynna dipyn go lew fwy o gynnyrch ond, gan eu bod yn gystadleuol, nid yw’r arian y buasent yn eu cael am hyn yn werth y buddsoddiad ym marn Bernard.

Er hynny mae cynlluniau diddorol am y dyfodol. Ar hyn o bryd mae warws aeddfedu yn cael ei adeiladu o fyrnau gwellt wedi gorchuddio a chalch. Mae’r dyluniad diddorol hwn yn cadw’r ‘seler’ tua 10˚C trwy’r flwyddyn. Yn olaf, mae cynllun arfaethedig i godi gwindy fel eu bod yn gallu troi eu grawnwin yn win ar y safle.

PenarthBottles

Mae’n bosib ymweld â’r winllan o bryd i’w gilydd ond mae angen cysylltu â nhw o flaen llaw i drefnu. Serch hynny, mae eu cynnyrch ar gael yn lleol yn siop hyfryd Quinces of Newtown.

Gyda thywydd da yn 2013 efallai bydd gwinoedd diddorol ar gael eleni, mae’r penderfyniad o beth i wneud a’r gwin sy’n prysur aeddfedu ar fin cael ei wneud, cawn weld yn fuan beth fydd y 2013 vintage o Benarth.

Gwinllan Kerry Vale

05/06/2014

Yn ystod Wythnos Gwin Cymru fe es i ymweld â dwy winllan. Mwy am yr ail yn fuan ond Kerry Vale ychydig i’r de o Drefaldwyn oedd y cyntaf ar bwys Clawdd Offa.

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Ond, cyn cyrraedd yno mae’r ffin yn gwneud tro go ryfedd sy’n golygu fod y winllan yn Lloegr er ei fod wedi ei amgylchynu gan Gymru ar dair ochr gyda’r ffin llai na milltir i ffwrd ar bob ochr. Serch hyn maent yn aelodau o Cymdeithas Gwinllannoedd Cymru ac mae hynna’n ddigon da i mi.

Mae Kerry Vale yn winllan eithaf newydd a gafodd ei blannu yn 2010 mewn lle a oedd yn bedwar cae ynghlwm a gefail. Busnes teuluol a gychwynnwyd gan Geoff a June Ferguson sy’n berchen ar barc carafanau cyfagos ac roeddynt yn edrych am brosiect newydd i’w cadw’n brysur. Fe ddaeth ymgynghorwr i edrych ar y tir a’i farn oedd ei fod yn addas ar gyfer gwinwydd felly penderfynont roi cynnig arni. Mae eu merch Nadine hefyd yn rhan o’r prosiect ac mae nifer o wirfoddolwyr yn rhoi help llaw pan mae’n amser cynhaeafu.

Geoff a June yn dathlu cynhaeaf 2013

Geoff a June yn dathlu cynhaeaf 2013

Mae yna lawer o hanes yn yr ardal ac maent wedi eu lleoli ar safle hen gael Rhufeinig – Caer Pentreheyling – yn ogystal â dau wersyll ac mae nifer go lew o grochenwaith a phres wedi ei ddarganfod ac mae hyn wedi dylanwadu ar enwai rhai o’u gwinoedd.

Mae yna 6,000 o winwydd wedi eu plannu dros bum erw gan ddefnyddio system clymu’r Double Guyot a’r mathau o rawnwin a dyfir yw Rondo, Solaris a Phoenix. Mae’r gwin yn cael ei gynhyrchu yn windy Halfpenny Green yn Swydd Stafford ac mae yna bedwar o winoedd ar gael ar hyn o bryd.

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Mae yna ddau win gwyn yn eu detholiad wedi eu gwneud o Solaris. Mae Shropshire Lady yn win gwyn sych tra mae Summer Days yn gymharol sych. Mae Rare Hare yn win rhosliw sydd wedi ei wneud o Rondo ac mae’r enw yn cyfeirio at lun ysgyfarnog ar y crochenwaith Rhufeinig a ddarganfuwyd ar y safle. Mae’r thema Rufeinig hefyd yn dylanwadu ar enw eu gwin coch ysgafn, Red Denarri, sydd hefyd wedi ei wneud o Rondo.

Yn mis Tachwedd fe fydd gwin pefriog wedi ei wneud o Phoenix yn ymuno a’u detholiad ac fe fydd yn ychwanegiad da.

Haf diwethaf fe agorwyd siop a chaffi. Mae’n olau ac yn awyrog gyda naws cyfoes ac mae’n cynnig prydau ysgafn, cacennau cartref, diodydd oer a phoeth ac, wrth gwrs, gwin i’w flasu neu brynu. Mae hefyd lle i gynnal lletygarwch corfforaethol.

Visitor Centre

Mae nifer o wahanol deithiau o amgylch y winllan ar gael ar ben wythnosau a gwyliau banc ond cofiwch logi lle o flaen llaw. Croesewir teithiau ar gyfer grwpiau hefyd ar wahanol amserau yn ystod yr wythnos.

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Mae bwriad, efallai, i wneud eu gwin eu hunain rhywdro yn y dyfodol ond ar hyn o bryd maent yn canolbwyntio ar gael eu gwinoedd i mewn i lefydd lleol o ansawdd.

Felly, os yn yr ardal hon, gwnewch yn sicr o ymweld ag i flasu a phrynu eu gwin.

 

Kerry Vale Vineyard

05/06/2014

During the recent Welsh Wine Week I visited two vineyards. More about the second vineyard soon but my first visit was to Kerry Vale Vineyard just south of Montgomery in border country near Offa’s Dyke.

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However, just before you get there the border does a strange squiggle meaning that the vineyard is actually in England despite being surrounded on three sides by Wales with the border less than a mile away on all three sides. But the vineyard is a member of the Welsh Vineyards Association so that’s good enough for me.

Kerry Vale is a relatively new vineyard planted in 2010 on what was a four field site attached to a smithy. It is a family run business started by Geoff and June Ferguson who owned a caravan park nearby and were looking for another project to keep them busy. They got a consultant to have a look at the land and it was declared good for growing vines so they gave it a go. Daughter Nadine is also part of the project and many volunteers help out when it’s time to harvest the crop.

Harvest 2013 (9)

Geoff and June celebrating the 2013 harvest

There’s a lot of history in the area and interestingly they are sited on an old Roman fort – Pentreheyling Fort – as well as two marching camps and a large amount of pottery and coins have been found and this has influenced the names of some of their wines.

There are 6,000 vines planted over five acres using a Double Guyot system of trellising and the varieties are Rondo, Solaris and Phoenix. The wines are made at Halfpenny Green Winery in Staffordshire and there are four wines available at the moment.

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There are two white wines in the range both made from Solaris. Shropshire Lady is a dry white made whilst Summer Days is medium dry. The Rare Hare is a rose made from Rondo and the name refers to a motif found on Roman pottery discovered on site. The Roman theme is also present in Red Denarri, a light red also made from Rondo.

These wines will be joined around November time by a sparkling wine made using Phoenix and that will be a good addition to their range.

Last summer saw the opening of a lovely shop and café. Light, airy and with a contemporary feel it offers light lunches, homemade cakes, hot and cold drinks and, of course, wine to taste and buy. This facility has also meant that they can provide corporate hospitality.

Visitor Centre

A number of different vineyard tours are available on weekends and bank holidays but remember to book in advance. Group tours are also welcome at different times during the week.

Shop interior

Although they may want to make their own wine at some point in the future they are currently concentrating on getting their wines into local quality establishments.

So, if you’re in the area make sure you pay them a visit to taste and buy some wine.

Wythnos Gwin Cymru 2014

20/05/2014

Mae Wythnos Win Cymru ar fin cychwyn a mae’n dechrau ar dydd Sadwrn 24 Mai. Yn wahanol i’r blynyddoedd diweddar nid oes lansiad swyddogol i’w weld yn digwydd sy’n siomedig gan ei fod yn gyfle i hysbysu’r Wythnos ar y cyd. Roedd hefyd yn rhoi’r holl ddigwyddiadau yn y wahanol winllanoedd mewn un lle ac felly’n hawdd darganfod be oedd ymlaen ledled Cymru.

Ta waeth, mae un digwyddiad gwerth chweil yn digwydd yn Sir Fynwy ar y 26ain o Fai. Taith a blasu gwin o Ancre Hill a White Castle. Am fwy o fanylion gweler yma.

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Fyddai i yn gobeithio ymweld a dwy winllan yn y Canolbarth sef Kerry Vale ar bwys Ystôg a Penarth Vineyard ger y Drenewydd. Fe fydd adroddiadau llawn ar y blog yn fuan.

Felly, achubwch ar y cyfle a ewch i ymweld a’ch gwinllan lleol, mae na win da yng Nghymru’r dyddie hyn a pryd well na Wythnos Win Cymru i’w flasu.

Welsh Wine Week 2014

20/05/2014

Welsh Wine Week is about to get underway and it starts on Saturday 24 May. In a change from previous years there doesn’t seem to be an official launch, this is a shame as it was a great opportunity to jointly publicise the event. It also put all the events across Wales in one easy to find place.

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Nevertheless, there is one event that’s certainly worth a try taking place in Monmouthshire on 26 May. It is a tour and tasting trip of Ancre Hill and White Castle vineyards. For more details see here.

I’m hoping to visit two vineyards in Mid Wales. They are Kerry Vale near Churchstoke and Penarth Vineyard near Newtown. Full report on the blog soon.

So, take the opportunity and visit your local vineyard, there’s some good wine in Wales these days, and when better to taste our wines than during Welsh Wine Week.

Aerona – a special liqueur from Dwyfor

17/03/2014

Aerona is a liqueur made from Aronia berries and is a result of a serendipitous meeting of a farm diversification project and a great idea.

Rhedynog Isaf farm is near to Chwilog in Gwynedd and it is here that Hazel a Gwilym Jones make Aerona . The Aronia berries came to the farm thanks to the MENTERRA project. This project sought to find out which crops could be grown in Wales for future possible farm diversification. A number of different crops were grown as part of this project on different farms and it was Aronia came to Rhedynog Isaf.

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When the project concluded there were 200 bushes in a field, so what to do with them? They aren’t the best tasting berry but they are strong in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Hazel experimented with making jam and so forth and considered making country wine but then she had her ‘lightbulb moment’ and thought about developing a liqueur.

To make Aerona liqueur the berries are harvested by hand at the end of the summer up to early autumn and then are frozen to keep until it’s time to use them. To make Aerona ,the berries are put into plastic tubs containing neutral spirit and stay there for three months in an old barn. During this time the spirit breaks down the berries and the flavour and colour infuses into the spirit. The liqueur is then bottled by hand on the farm.

Hazel busy bottling

Hazel busy bottling

Aerona has been a success. They now need to expand and another barn will be pressed into action. Also, as well as the original 200 bushes a further thousand have been planted.

Once the liqueur is made the berries aren’t wasted, they are dried and are used to make a delicious chocolate.

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It appears that there is a bright future for Aerona.

Between 9-10 on the evening of Wednesday 26 March I’ll be hosting a tweetasting of Aerona, buy a bottle and join in using #drinkswales

Aerona – gwirodlyn arbennig o Dwyfor

17/03/2014

Gwirodlyn yw Aerona wedi ei wneud o aeron Aronia a welodd olau dydd diolch i gyd-ddigwyddiad hapus rhwng prosiect arall gyfeirio ar gyfer ffermydd a hefyd dyfeisgarwch.

Ar fferm Rhedynog Isaf nepell o Chwilog yng Ngwynedd y caiff Aerona ei wneud gan Hazel a Gwilym Jones. Fel rhan o brosiect MENTERRA daeth yr eirin i’r fferm. Roedd y prosiect hwn yn ceisio darganfod pa gnydau a fyddai’n gallu tyfu yng Nghymru ar gyfer arall gyfeirio posib yn y dyfodol. Roedd nifer o wahanol gnydau  yn cael eu tyfu fel rhan o’r prosiect hwn ar wahanol ffermydd a’r Aronia a ddaeth i Rhedynog Isaf.

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Pan ddaeth y prosiect i ben roedd yna 200 o goed mewn cae, felly beth i wneud gyda hwy? Nid ydynt y pethau gorau i’w bwyta o ran blas ond maent yn gryf mewn fitamin C ac antiocsidants.

Rhoddodd Hazel gynnig ar wneud cyffaith ac ati a meddyliodd am wneud gwin cefn gwlad ond, yn ddirybudd daeth y syniad i wneud gwirodlyn.

I wneud y gwirodlyn Aerona mae’r aeron yn cael eu cynaeafu dryw law diwedd yr haf hyd at yr hydref ac wedyn maent yn cael eu rhewi er mwyn eu cadw tan mae’r amser yn dod i’w defnyddio. I wneud Aerona maent yn cael eu rhoi mewn twbiau plastig gyda gwirod ynddo am dair mis mewn hen feudy. Yn ystod yr amser hwn mae’r gwirod yn torri’r aeron i lawr ac mae’r blas a’r lliw yn llifo ohonynt. Wedyn mae’n cael ei botelu, hefyd drwy law, ar y fferm.

Hazel wrthi'n potelu

Hazel wrthi’n potelu

Mae Aerona wedi bod yn llwyddiant. Mae angen ehangu ac mae beudy arall ar glos y fferm wedi ei glustnodi. Hefyd, yn ogystal â’r 200 o goed gwreiddiol mae mil ychwanegol wedi eu plannu.

Nid yw’r aeron yn cael eu taflu ar ôl potelu’r gwirodlyn, maent yn cael eu sychu ac wedyn cael eu defnyddio i wneud siocled blasus dros ben.

Aerona 006

Mae’n ymddangos y bod dyfodol disglair i Aerona.

Rhwng 9-10 ar nos Fercher 26 Mawrth rwyf am gynnal trydarflasu o Aerona, prynwch botel ac ymunwch gan ddefnyddio #diodyddcymru

Newid bach / small change

02/03/2014

Nodyn byr i ddweud na fydd Diod y Mis bellach, fe fydd trydarflasu yn parhau ond yn gysylltiedig a erthygl am gynhyrchwr ac ati. Fe fydd un nes ymlaen ym mis Mawrth.

Short note to say that the Drink of the Month will not continue in its current form but tweetasting will continue but based on a more in depth article about a producer etc. There will be one of these later this month.

Diod Cymreig Mis Chwefror – Blaengawney Cider: Hallets Real Cider (6.0%afc)

02/02/2014

Mae Blaengawney Cider wedi’i leoli ar y fferm o’r un enw ac caiff ei redeg gan wr a gwraig Andy ac Annie Hallet. Am beth amser seidr draft oedd eu cynnyrch ond, yn weddol ddiweddar, maen’t wedi mentro creu seidr mewn potel.

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Yn lle defnyddio’r enw Blaengawney fe wnaethon ddatblygu brand newydd yn seiledig ar yr enw teuluol. Hallets Real Cider yw’r en war gyfer eu seidr potel ac maen’t wedi creu brand hynod o dda.

Mae’n cael ei wneud gyda 100% o afalau Cymreig a mae seidr o’r cynhaeaf gyfredol yn cael ei gymysgu gyda seidr o afalau Dabinett sydd wedi bod yn aeddfedu am tua blwyddyn. Hefyd mae ei natur pefriog yn naturiol a defnyddir y dull ‘keeving’ sy’n fwy nodweddiadol o seidr Ffrainc i greu hyn.

Fel arfer, gadewch eich sylwadau yma ar y blog a/neu…

Ymunwch yn fwy gyda’r sesiwn trydarflasu ar ddydd Mercher 12 Chwefror rhwng 9-10yh gan ddefnyddio #diodyddcymru