Kentish vineyards in the spotlight
PUBLISHED: 22:57 25 September 2013 | UPDATED: 22:57 25 September 2013
Kent is at the heart of a resurgent English wine industry and its producers are creating some of the best wine the UK has to offer. Meet four of the newer, possibly less well-known vineyards producing wonderful wines
The Mount Vineyard
Lissa Greenwood has always had an interest in wine but while she and her husband both worked in the City, that was as far it went. But this all changed when they decided to move to Kent and Lissa quit her job to have a go at something new.
“We wanted to try something completely different and as we both had a passion for wine and an interest in it, we thought why not try our hands at a vineyard?”
The Mount, in the heart of the beautiful Darenth Valley near Sevenoaks, had been created in 2004 by its previous owners, who planted 10 acres of vines.
“We fell in love with the place when we saw it, both the size of the vineyard and its location suited us perfectly,” says Lissa.
The couple bought the vineyard in 2011 and set about learning their new trade, although according to Lissa, this was far from straightforward.
“There was an amazing learning curve involved and we had to try and understand as much as possible in quite a short period. It was also quite a chaotic time and the whole process involved lots of hard work,” she admits.
“But we managed to come through it and get a handle on how this business works. However, I’m still learning new things about the wine business every day and I’m not sure that ever really stops.”
2012 was not an easy year due to the terrible weather but 2013 is looking to be a fantastic vintage with high yields and good-quality grapes.
Since she and her husband have taken over at The Mount, the vineyard has done well, and already scooped up a number of awards.
“Our 2009 Pinot has done very well, winning a bronze at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in 2011, as well as being commended in the International Wine Challenge of the same year,” says Lissa.
“And last year we also won awards for our Sparkling Rosé, which got silver in the IWSC and silver in the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition. I think these awards illustrate that the vineyard is heading in the right direction.”
Despite the small size of The Mount, Lissa feels that this isn’t something that will hold the vineyard back.
“I think that being small can be an advantage. We can give greater attention to a smaller number of vines, which can lead to improved quality of both the grapes and the wine produced.
“We can also provide a personal service to our customers as we hold private tours and tastings, which are usually run by myself,” she adds. n