Visitors often express surprise when they come to the vineyard - We didn't know that Nottinghamshire had a vineyard they say, or But we're too far North for you to produce good wine aren't we?
Eglantine Vineyard was established in 1979, on south facing slopes just 3 miles from the Nottinghamshire/Leicestershire border, at a time when English vineyards were entering a period of significant growth. Research stations around the world had been developing new and earlier ripening varieties of vines, which meant that it was possible to grow and harvest grapes successfully in the English Midlands. We've now had more than twenty years of experience of growing vines and making wine here.
And why Eglantine?
We wanted a name which immediately evokes the best of the English countryside. This is the name given to the smallest of the wild English roses found growing along the hedgerows in some parts of the countryside and flowering in late Spring and early Summer.
The Vines and Wines.
There are about four thousand vines in the vineyard, the main variety being the Madeleine Angevine, a highly reliable vine which sets fruit every year and always ripens well - despite the vagaries of the climate.From this, we make a dry white wine, often compared with those produced in the Loire. Some of the ripest Madeleine grapes are used to produce North Star - England's answer to Icewine. This was first released in 2002. Our Quality Sparkling Wine made by the traditional method of secondary fermentation in bottle, is a blend of the most suitable varieties from several vintages. (Bronze Medal 2002 MVA Competition)
A rosť wine, Aurora Borealis is made from a blend of varieties, the main two being Seyval, a white grape, and Cascade a red. Eglantine Red is also a blend, being made from Cascade, Leon Millot and other red grapes from the vine collection. If the Autumn weather is warm, and especially if the grapes are affected by Noble Rot we make another dessert wine, exclusively from the Madeleine Sylvaner grapes.
Mead is made from honey produced by bees in the vineyard apiary.
To further enlarge the product range, a sweet Cherry Wine, is made according to our own recipe. This was awarded a Silver Medal at the 1996 International Wine and Spirits Competition.
The Vine Collection
In order to widen the choice of grapes from which to make wine, a collection containing over 170 varieties (including clonal selections) has been built up. Many new varieties have been imported from research institutions as far away as Australia, Canada and the USA.
Conducted Vineyard Tours.
The vineyard is open for organised tours in May, June, July, August and September. Visitors are shown around the vine collection and the vineyard with a commentary on the tasks which need to be carried out at various seasons of the year. In the winery the wine making process is explained and all the equipment can be seen.
Tours can be at any convenient time including evenings and weekends. The size of a group can vary but the preferred numbers are between 10 and 35. The visit can last up to two hours and costs £3-00 per person.
To enable families, friendship groups, clubs and societies to organise their programmes, the tours can be booked up to a year in advance.
Booking is essential and can be done by telephone.
Sale of wine.
Our wines are only available direct from the vineyard which is open for wine sales throughout the year. Please telephone for details of opening times and availability of wines as we sometimes sell out of some lines.
A selection of vines is also available for sale.
Phone/Fax 01509 852386
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