With the giant strides the English wine industry has been making over recent years, it is no surprise to see the evidence of this at Halfpenny Green Wine Estate. In 2018, the family-run vineyard increased its wine storage area by three thousand square feet and invested in a brand-new state-of-the-art bottling line, enabling them to achieve the highest quality bottling on up to eight thousand bottles of wine per day. They also added a new disgorgement line, a process which removes the sediment from sparkling wine; the same traditional method used to make Champagne, and a method on which the Estate pride themselves.
The Estate’s expansion could not have been better timed, as 2018 saw a record harvest for the thirty-acre vineyard, with a bumper crop of grapes, to eventually become their 2018 vintage. To put this into perspective, nationally, the 2018 harvest more than doubled the 2017 harvest yield! This was mainly due to the unusually warm and sunny conditions throughout the Summer, creating the perfect grape-growing climate.
As well as growing their own grapes, Halfpenny Green have another string to their bow; being Contract Wine Makers, their expansion last year and the abundant harvest, led to them taking on even more contracts, with sixty five other vineyards coming to them from throughout England and Wales, to have their wine produced! The Vineyard also carries out a Co-operative Wine Making Scheme, which enables people with small amounts of grapes, that perhaps have been grown in their gardens, to bring them along where they are combined together to produce a beautiful Rosé wine.
On top of all this, as well as expanding their Winery, during the Summer months of 2018, a new Balcony was built above the Estate’s Shop and Deli, extending their Wine Loft area to provide a tranquil, adult-only area, overlooking the stunning South Staffordshire countryside. It is intended, after a VIP Grand Opening in the early Spring, that this beautiful space will be used for Wine and Gin Tastings, as well as private events, where a choice of the Chef’s own Tapas will be on the menu.
The Vickers family have worked incredibly hard to reach this point but Clive, the son of the founder, Martin Vickers, explains “We are proud to be giving something back to our loyal customers by continuing to invest in the facilities here to improve the great visitor experience”
For those that would like to know more about English wine and the reasons for its fast-growing popularity, Halfpenny Green Wine Estate runs guided tours throughout the summer months, giving you the opportunity to learn more about English wine, and how vineyards based in the UK are taking the international scene by storm as relatively new competitors. The day wouldn’t be complete without a tasting of the wines, and it even includes a set two course meal at the end. It’s a great way to enjoy some of the best in English produce and, with gift vouchers available, it makes the perfect gift! Upcoming dates for guided tours include Saturday 11th May, Thursday 23rd May, Thursday 13th June and Saturday 22nd June (booking necessary, head to the website for more information at www.halfpennygreen.co.uk).