We have recently visited Renishaw Hall Vineyard, one of the most northerly vineyards in Europe and certainly the most northerly British award-winning vineyard. We were able to walk around the vineyard and also have a taste of the fantastic wines produced by the Estate.
Renishaw Hall has been home of the Sitwell family for more than 400 years. The vineyard is one of the more recent additions to the Estate having been planted a mere 40 years ago! For the past couple of years the vineyard has been under the management of Kieron Atkinson.
The vineyard was surprising small at just two acres. This small walled vineyard manages to produce approximately 5 tonnes of fruit annually, that can be converted into about 5,000 bottles of wine. Once harvested, the grapes are transported to a winery in Staffordshire where it stays until bottled.
It was fascinating to listen to Keiron. He is amazingly knowledgeable and obviously extremely passionate about producing great quality English wine. The challenges of an English summer mean that he is constantly reviewing his decisions for the resulting crop and how it is to be processed at the winery. The cold spring, dry June and warm summer of 2013 should mean that the grape sugars are higher resulting in great potential for a fabulous vintage. Harvesting will not take place for another month or so yet, so fingers crossed for the last few weeks of growing.
Despite the horrible weather conditions for the past couple of years, the still and sparkling white wines from Renishaw have won national and international awards. Just think what the 2013 vintage might be capable of!
The vineyard is about 30 miles from the holiday cottages.