Kerry Vale Vineyard

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.

Vineyard

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.

Range2013

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.

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