SWVA members will be gathering for their spring meeting and 2017 AGM at Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard on 7th March this year by kind invitation of Sandy Luck. This is always a popular occasion for producers to escape the rigours of winter pruning and compare notes on progress.
As well as the formal proceedings there will be an update from Sam Lindo of Cornwall's Camel Valley Vineyards, until recently Chairman of our parent organisation, the UK Vineyards Association, on moves towards unity with English Wine Producers, the marketing organisation for the biggest commercial vineyards. Sam was responsible during his tenure as Chair for boosting the capacity of the UKVA to enable it to develop into a more effective trade association for producers, to fit the rising reputation and scale of the English wine industry. This has led indirectly to the current negotiations to become a single organisation.
Another outcome is a new, more consumer orientated, higher profile national annual competition, to be known as the UK Wine Awards, which is starting this year. Results are due in English Wine Week at the end of May. Members will be keen to catch up with the latest news on this as the entry date approaches.
Aldwick Court Farm and Vineyard is at Redhill, close to Bristol airport. There are two vineyards, the first was planted in 2008 in approximately two acres of Homefield. Bordering the main drive to the Farmhouse complex, this was laid out with 2000 vines in blocks of Seyval Blanc, Early Pinot Noir, and Bacchus. In 2010, plantings were expanded into Woodlands, the south-westerly facing, hillside field overlooking Aldwick Lane. Grape varieties here include Regent and Solaris, late ripening Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, and Bacchus – the 4th most widely grown wine grape in England. Together they total 8,900 vines spread over 9 acres.
Having failed to thrive, the 500 Homefield Bacchus vines were grubbed up and replaced in 2011 with 600 Madeleine Angevine – another ‘classic’ English wine grape.
Aldwick is a wedding venue, and aims to provide its own high quality wine for the enjoyment of its clients and their guests. It has been regularly winning awards since 2013, and in December landed a prestigious Silver Medal in Tranche 1 of the 2017 International Wine Challenge.
Members can find the programme and application forms in the Members Area/Notices and News for Members.