Shrewsbury vineyard preview party announced ...


Vineyard preview for county wine lovers …

There will be a welcome on the hillsides at a major Shropshire attraction in a couple of weeks time when a new vineyard and retreat opens it gates for guests to get a sneak preview of the unique and productive project as it unfolds.

Hencote Estate, just off the Ellesmere Road, outside Shrewsbury, is a 60-acre site currently being developed as a vineyard and has spectacular views of the town and south Shropshire hills, together with one of England’s few remaining wet woodlands.

With over 22,000 vines already planted on 16-acres of its south facing slopes, Hencote Estate will, in only a couple of years time, become a fully productive vineyard and visitor centre, with large gardens and an ancient riverbed.

To introduce itself to the county, the estate is hosting a Summer Wine Party on Saturday 8th July, where guests will be able to sample sparkling wines similar to those to be produced on site, enjoy a barbeque lunch, guided tours of the vineyard and grounds, enjoy a relaxed atmosphere of music with songs by renowned jazz singer Naomi Hart, of Craven Arms, and visit the exclusive facilities of the exclusive retreat, called The Grange.

Severn Hospice will have a presence on the day and fundraiser Elodie Home, commented: “This place is such a wonderful surprise and what a simply beautiful setting. When fully up and running and producing its own wine I think it will be a tremendous asset to both tourism - and wine lovers - in Shropshire and far beyond.”

Hencote Estate is a family owned venture where Andy Stevens runs the development operation, his son Mark is head of the vineyard and daughters Vivienne and Suzanne, will be joining as events managers at a later date.

Mark, commented: “We are very keen to be involved with the Shropshire community and decided to host this special preview event to introduce ourselves to the county and showcase our vineyard and what we eventually hope to achieve in the future.

“The whole day will be very informal but hopefully rather refined and enjoyable, purely to give people an opportunity to see the extensive work already carried out and view our widespread plans for the future.

“The vines are well on their way and we hope to have our first harvest of grapes at the end of this year, producing just a few bottles of sparkling English wine, before growing to full production over the next two to three years.

“As yet, with very uncertain weather conditions in the UK the quality of our wine is of course unknown, but there is a saying that ‘the number of rain delays at Wimbledon’ will determine the quality of vine flowers and eventually the wine itself, so we live in hope!”

Further information on the Summer Wine Party and Hencote Estate can be obtained from Olivia Britton on 07512 524500.

PICTURED:  Launching the Summer Wine Party are, from left, Elodie Home, Naomi Hart, Olivia Britton and Mark Stevens.