London gets new vineyard
London's first commercial vineyard has been planted at Forty Hall Organic Farm in the London Borough of Enfield. Nearly 1500 Bacchus vines were planted as part of a wider community project funded by Capel Manor Horticultural College. The Bacchus grape is ideally suited to a cool climate and produces a crisp, light white wine with Sauvignon characteristics of gooseberry and fresh grass says vineyard manager Sarah Vaughan-Roberts who hopes the free-draining, gravelly soil at Forty Hall will become the 'terroir' of London wines. Both still and sparkling wines are planned.
Happily, the wines should come on stream in time to toast the opening of the Olympics in 2012 though the Forty Hall wine will be sold directly to consumers within a ten mile radius of the vineyard and all profits will go towards promoting sustainable urban agriculture in the local area.
The news comes a month after vines were planted near to Kings Cross by Alara Wholefoods in their sunny south-facing back garden measuring about 45 metres by 8 metres. The vineyard will only produce about 100 bottles a year and will be supplied to a local restaurant.