Our Story Continued...
It all began in 2005 on holiday in New Zealand. We conceived the idea of creating a vineyard after following the Marlborough wine trail, visiting vineyards large and small on the South Island. Their first vineyard was only planted in 1973 and we thought that if they can do it in their climate, perhaps we can too.
A period of extensive research into the subject followed, resulting in both John and Feona signing up for various viticulture courses at Plumpton College in East Sussex.
With new-found knowledge (little did we know!) we commissioned a detailed analysis of the site we had available, namely some 3+ acres of paddock behind our 17th century farmhouse. The resulting report stated that the site, a gentle south-east facing slope 65m above sea level with excellent soil was “ideal for vines”.
Site preparation began, varietals selected and sourced, and planting took place in 2008. The vineyard is close to Burnham Beeches, on land once part of the home farm for Dropmore House, a private home built in the late 18th century for Lord Grenville, who was Prime Minister from 1806-1807. As premier, he was instrumental in one of the most important legislative measures of the day - abolition of the slave trade. The historic geographic connection provided an obvious name for our vineyard – always time for “a drop more wine”...
We grow five grape varieties to produce award-winning, mainly single varietal, wines. Bacchus and Ortega both produce white wines, while Pinot Noir gives us our rosé, Pinot Blush. Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are blended in the traditional method to create our English sparkling wine.
Our first harvest was in 2010. Since then we have won a number of gold, silver and bronze medals at regional and national wine challenges. Our 2011 Bacchus won the best still wine in any class in the 2013 T&CVA (Thames & Chilterns Vineyards Association) challenge.