London’s latest urban winery opens in Battersea

Joining London Cru in Earl’s Court and Renegade in Bethnal Green is the latest addition to London’s urban winery scene – Blackbook in Battersea.

Sergio Verrillo and his wife Lynsey, founders of London’s latest urban winery, Blackbook winery in Battersea

Located close to Queenstown Road station on Broughton Street, Blackbook is the brainchild of winemaker Sergio Verrillo and his wife Lynsey.

Having cut his teeth doing stints at the likes of Ata Rangi in New Zealand, Flowers in California and De Montille in Burgundy, Verrillo’s focus at Blackbook is on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in England.

Blackbook Rosé 2017 made from Pinot Noir grown in Essex

First out of the blocks at Blackbook is its “expressive and textured” 2017 rosé, priced at £17.50, made from Pinot Noir grapes grown at Clayhill Vineyard in Essex that are fermented in old French oak and spend six months on lees.

Having scooped a Silver medal at this year’s Drinks Business Global Rosé Masters, the rosé has since won listings at a number of Michelin-starred restaurants in London and the South East, including Chez Bruce in Wandsworth Common, The Glasshouse at Kew and Brunswick House in Wandsworth.

Also due to be released this year is a 2017 Pinot Noir and a 2017 Chardonnay, both priced at £18.50, while an English sparkling wine costing £23.50 is also in the pipeline.

Blackbook sources its grapes from Clayhill Vineyard in Essex and Yew Tree Vineyards in Oxfordshire, and produces all of its wines on site in Battersea.

Verrillo takes a traditional winemaking approach, making low sulphur wines and using indigenous ferments to preserve varietal character.

“I’m seeking to reflect the vibrancy, colour, culture and energy of London in my wines, in how they look, feel and taste,” Verrillo told db.

Blackbook will open its doors to visitors in August, when weekly winery experiences and tasting sessions will be available.

Verrillo will take visitors on an hour-long journey through the winemaking process and the Blackbook story, before offering a tasting of the winery’s current releases.

A son of Italian and Hungarian immigrants, Verrillo grew up in Connecticut in the US and got his first taste for wine while working as a sommelier at Maze, Tamarind and Chez Bruce in London.

After graduating with a degree in viticulture and oenology from Plumpton in 2014, he set off around the world gaining valuable winemaking experience at top cool climate estates before putting what he learnt into practice in London.

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