What an excellent afternoon!
Twenty members and partners visited this very impressive property outside Lytchett Matravers for a tour and wine-tasting. We were in awe of the enthusiasm of the owners, Andrew and Sarah, who described how they stumbled into wine-making after successful careers in IT. Having obtained the necessary qualifications, they acquired a farm, cleared off the livestock, ploughed the land and planted 23,000 vines!
Six years later, they produced their first wines and, now, after sixteen years, they are producing award-winning English sparkling wines.
The tour gave us a very good insight into the way that vines are cultivated, the problems, and the sheer hard physical work that is involved in getting to the point that the grapes are picked by hand. Typically, somewhere between 55 and 85 tons of grapes will be produced. Sarah subsequently explained how the grapes are turned into sparkling wine, using the traditional method but with ultra-modern equipment.
Then came the wine-tasting!
We tasted four very different, and excellent, wines, with Andrew explaining what grapes had been used what we should be expecting to taste. We all had our favourites and would gladly have stayed longer to finish off the bottles!
Credit cards took a hammering as we left ….