FREE Wine Tasting
*Tours of the vineyard & winery are by appointment only.
Minimum of 5 people and a maximum of 20 people.
Tours last 2 to 3 hours.
About the Vineyard
At Daws Hill Vineyard the field selected had only been used for low intensity cattle grazing. South facing and reasonably well drained, it was improved further by sub-soiling, and power harrowing to a depth of 30 cm.
In an area of one hectare (2,4 acres) 3,000 vines were planted over a two week period in late April and early May 2004. In 2007, the vineyard was extended with the planting of a further 2,100 vines.
Initially, the vineyard suffered as a result of beginner's bad luck, coupled with a lack of knowledge. A delay in installing anti-rabbit fencing resulted in repeated and enthusiastic pruning by the rabbits. The weather though was perfect for planting, damp but not wet. Poor weed control meant that some areas didn't prosper and variable growth overall put the first harvest back by a year.
2006, it was discovered that some of the plants suffered as a result of nutritional problems, too much Boron and Manganese and not enough Iron. Manure, additional nutrients and lots of care meant that uniform growth was not achieved until 2007, when the vineyard produced its first harvest, resulting in 850lts of wine.
2007, was not a good year for grapes in the UK (some established vineyards locally had no harvest at all). Initially it looked like the vineyard was in for a bumper harvest as April and early May were dry, warm and sunny. Unfortunately things deteriorated. The heavy rains around Glastonbury occurred at the same time as flowering. Vine flowers are tiny hair like structures and heavy rain or hail simply destroy them. No flowers no fruit. Fortunately the vines the vineyard uses were slightly ahead of most vineyards and some fruit had already been "set".
As an experiment in 2007 the vinyard also planted a row of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Both varieties are known to be difficult to ripen in England, but it was decided to give it a go, as the vinyeard Pinot Noir ripens early and with French levels of sugar.
2008, looked as if it was going to be a good year, with predictions of 3,000 to 4,000 bottles. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated from May until harvest. Careful pruning, canopy management and disease control was rewarded with a harvest of approximately 2,000 bottles.
2009 was a good year both for ripeness and yield. The vineyard produced 4,000 bottles, some of it pink.
With the knowledge and experience gained over the last few years, the vineyard is set to produce a total of between 8,000 and 10,000 bottles a year. The majority will be sparkling, but in good years a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, probably oak aged, will be produced.
The vineyard also produces cider using the same techniques and yeasts as for the wine.