Pale Park Vineyard opened its doors for business in August 2018.
British wine is growing in popularity, although most British vineyards tended to focus on white and sparkling wines. So for some reason we decided to plant vines that would produce a red grape. We chose a Rondo, which being a German variety is more used to the temperate climate of the UK than some of the Mediterranean vines.
We planted 3,000 vines in April 2014 over approximately 2.5 acres of south facing, sloping land.
Gradually the vineyard took shape, with rapid growth of both the vines and the amount of work it takes to keep them in order. The vineyard year starts in January, when we prune back the previous year’s growth to form the basis for the current year’s development, laying down branches for the new year’s buds. It takes two of us about five weeks or more over January and February to prune ready for the coming year’s crop.
Our first harvest was in October 2017, when to our surprise we harvested just over three tonnes of grapes from approximately 1,000 vines. Although all the vines had been planted at the same time, their rate of development has been different, depending on soil and weather conditions in various sections of the vineyard. As a rough guide one tonne of grapes produces a thousand bottles.
Our first year’s production is labelled Pale Park Rondo 2017 and is a light fruity, summer red. Pale Park Rondo 2018 is a beautifully versatile light bodied red wine with well balanced wild blackcurrant and bramble flavours.