After the horrors of Saturday night in Borough Market, on Sunday morning, Forty Hall Vineyard was a peaceful haven. I went along to their 'open vineyard' day to celebrate English Wine Week and the release of their 2016 Ortega wine .
There is generally a low expectation of the quality of the wine (let's face it, a wine produced from grapes grown in Enfield, North London doesn't raise high hopes.). You will be mightily surprised though!! it's a joyful moment when the wine hits your palate and it dawns on you that the wine tastes really good. What a fantastic asset we have here in North London - a vineyard that produces good wine!
Sarah Vaughan Roberts, who founded the Vineyard as a social enterprise in partnership with Capel Manor College, explained the challenges the vineyard has recently faced with an unusually late frost in April which has had a devastating impact on the vines. Thankfully there are signs of renewal but the it wont be clear how much damage there is until the end of summer as we approach the harvest time in September, but here will undoubtedly be an impact upon the volume of wine that can be produced. This matters greatly as the wine sales pay for the running of the vineyard as a social enterprise, promoting good mental health, rehabilitation and well being for local people through "green exercise" .
The vineyard are raising money through donations and you can also support the vineyard by buying the wine from the Forty Hall Farm Shop, Forty Hall Estate, Enfield and online soon.
You can tour the vineyard at the Food Festival on August Bank Holiday and watch out for events that the Food Gatherer will be organising in the vineyard over the summer too!
More info about here.