Our Vineyard is situated on sandstone slopes approximately 40 – 50 metres above sea level and the vines flourish in their South West facing position.
Alan and Faye Pratt have worked their land since 1992 and over the years have kept horses, sheep, pigs, poultry and have planted some 500 native hedgerow plants. In 2004 they decided that planting a small vineyard would suit a difficult area to work on their holding. As a first step a great deal of research was undertaken to establish the grape varieties that should yield well and once a decision had been reached, it was in 2005 with their two sons Gareth and William, 200 Rondo vines were planted into the well drained sandy loam soil at Lily Farm which resulted in a UK record breaking grape harvest in 2007.
Following a successful first harvest another 200 Rondo vines were planted in 2007 and Alan and Faye enrolled at Plumpton College, UK Centre of Excellence for courses in Viticulture and Oenology. In 2008 a further 950 vines were planted, introducing another black grape, Pinot Noir Precoce and white grapes, Bacchus and Seyval Blanc and in 2013 600 Reichensteiner, to increase our range of white and sparkling wines and taking the total area under vine to one and a half acres. We are very lucky to have a small army of volunteers, family, friends and members of the local community who come along every year at harvest time to help us pick the grapes.
A fabulous vineyard site matched with our meticulous attention to detail, whilst operating to the highest environmental standards, has helped us to achieve outstanding levels of grape production and make world class wines.
Following harvest the vines quickly start to shut down. First the leaves tum to an array of eye catching colours before they drop and the vines move into a dormant phase over winter. January sees the start of the lengthy job of pruning, first assessing vine health, clearing out the old wood and then carefully bending the new fruiting canes to encourage the sap to flow before new buds burst through in the Spring.