London set for historic grape harvest

3rd October, 2012 by Gabriel Stone

Two London wine businesses are teaming up to resurrect the 17th century winemaking heritage of Richmond.

Richmond Hill: a prime vineyard site?

Recently launched online merchant Red Squirrel Wine and Green & Blue wine bar and shop are planning to harvest the grapes at the end of this week.

Growing wild on a cobbled street outside Red Squirrel Wine’s Richmond offices, the vines are in close proximity to “The Vineyard”, a street on the lower slopes of Richmond Hill, where locals planted vineyards in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The current vines are estimated to be up to 40 years old and samples will be sent to the Centre of Excellence in Wine Research at Plumpton College in East Sussex to establish their variety.

Following the harvest, grapes will be transported to Green & Blue’s site in East Dulwich, where they will be fermented using native yeasts. Craig Hawkins, head winemaker at South African organic producer Lammershoek, will act as consultant via Skype.

As yet there are no plans to make the resulting wine commercially available when it is bottled during the next few months.

Instead, Nik Darlington, founder of Red Squirrel Wine, explained: “With all the hubbub around English wine at the moment, we thought it would be an exciting challenge to see what we could achieve with wild English grapes growing in the soil of ancient vineyards.

His partner in the project, Green & Blue director Kate Thal, said: “While we are not expecting this to turn out to be the most delicious wine ever made, who knows? Perhaps it will turn out rather well.

“The vines are certainly being grown without intervention, though in outer London air and right by a road so I don’t think we could call them organic!  But whatever happens, it’s going to be interesting.”

The initiative comes two years after the release of Château Tooting, which featured grapes grown in south London.

One Response to “London set for historic grape harvest”

  1. The London Garden Society is to have a networking event 19th May 2013, Spitalfields City Farm, Shoreditch. We would like a representation from a vineyard in within The London area to be present .

    Would you like to come along, plus give us a tlk on what you are achieving in Richmond.

    Would you please let us know soonest.

    Geoff Juden
    Chair
    The East London Garden Society

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Administrative Assistant

Swig Wines Ltd
Chiswick, London, UK

HR Manager

Amathus Drinks PLC
London, UK

Senior Sales Manager

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, GB

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
London, UK

National Business Development Manager

Speciality Drinks Group
London, UK

Inventory Analyst

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

Events Executive - Atom Supplies

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Off-Trade Sales Account Executive

Domaine Direct
Nationwide, working from a combination of home & London office.

Sales Executive/Brand Ambassador

Glenfarclas
Ballindalloch, Speyside, UK

Client Manager

Noble Rot
Wandsworth, London, GB

Spirits Investment Director

Stilnovisti
London, UK

Junior Brand Manager

Enotria Winecellars
Park Royal, London, UK

Content & Digital Assistant

ABVGlobal
London, UK

Sales Manager

Cellar Trends
London, UK

Editorial Assistant

Wine List Confidential
London, UK

Champagne Masters 2017

Deadline : 7th July 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th July 2017

The Global Syrah Masters 2017

Deadline : 18th July 2017

Click to view more

The Drinks Business Awards 2017

Now in its 15th year, the db awards have become the most authoritative, internationally respected badge of achievement in the alcoholic drinks industry.

The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2017

the drinks business Hong Kong announces its first year of The Asian Cabernet Sauvignon Masters.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

Click to view more