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Putting the fizz back into a historic vineyard

2nd June 2014 Print
Renishaw Hall

Few English vineyards can claim links to a 400-year-old family home, a grandly eccentric poet, a literary pioneer and the UK’s most northerly award-winning wine.

But that’s exactly what visitors can find at Renishaw Hall in north east Derbyshire.

Home to the Sitwell family for nearly four centuries – including famous literary trio, Edith, Osbert, and Sacheverell Sitwell who played a significant role in the artistic and literary world in the early 20th century – Renishaw, also boasts one of England’s oldest vineyards.

The historic vineyard, nestling in the grounds of the imposing Hall and its stunning gardens, is over 40 years old and up until relatively recently could also lay claim to the title of the most northerly vineyard in the world.

But while it may have lost that particular title some years ago, Renishaw has now picked up its first global award, winning a Commended medal in the 2013 Decanter World Wine Awards for its 2011 Seyval Blanc sparkling wine.

And that makes Renishaw the UK’s most northerly vineyard to win a Decanter World Wine Award.

With a newly expanded vineyard, and plenty of talk about its recent vintage, Renishaw has now launched its 2014 season of vineyard tours, coinciding with English Wine Week (24 May - 1 June 2014).

Now with its own global wine award, Renishaw’s vineyard – which was planted by current Hall owner Alexandra Sitwell’s father, the late Sir Reresby, in 1972 – is likely to be even more popular with visitors.

Led by vineyard tenant and Derbyshire wine maker, Kieron Atkinson, the tours offer a chance for visitors to learn about the history of the vineyard – as well as enjoy tastings of Renishaw Hall’s award-winning white and sparkling wine!

“We’ve grown the vineyard in size and reputation and I am really looking forward to welcoming people to come and see this lovely plot of grape-producing land on the Renishaw estate,” says Kieron. “I hope that the wine will continue its award success, and people are warmly invited to come along to these public tours and learn all about how English wine is produced from grapes grown here in Derbyshire”.

The vineyard tours last approximately one and a half hours and cost £10 per person, including wine tasting, a tour of the historic vineyard and learning about the cycle of the vineyard and wine-making process.

Public vineyard tour dates for 2014 are at noon on: June 8, June 15, Aug 3, Aug 10 (Renishaw Hall plant fair), and Sept 21 (subject to harvest).

Pre-booked group tours (minimum of 12 people) are also available on Thursdays and weekends from May to September.

Advance booking for tours is needed, contact kieron[at]englishwineproject.co.uk

For details about where to stay and other things to do and see in the area, visit visitchesterfield.info.

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Renishaw Hall