We at The Amazing Blog appreciate how much passion and dedication goes into nurturing healthy vines, growing luscious grapes, and making good wine. Additionally, the admiration has to expand further still, when such production is to be organically certified and sustainably executed. When you add the often unreliable climate of North London, which is so vital to the whole process, then a truly intriguing story emerges. And that story begins with Forty Hall Vineyard…in Enfield, North London where it rains, a lot!
Enter Sarah Vaughan Roberts, who founded Forty Hall Vineyard in 2009. She asked the question ‘If Paris and New York can accommodate a vineyard, then why not London?’ This was a question that sparked her to dig deeper, and coupled with her interest in wine, Sarah’s entrepreneurial nouse perhaps determined the end result to be inevitably positive. But what of that slight fly in the ointment of our Great British Weather? Well, Sarah explains, the very fact that we are now seeing the effects of climate change, is precisely why our environment is becoming so effective in the wine making process. With temperature zones rising and moving north, some Champagne Houses are already looking north across the channel for potential vineyards in Kent, The South Downs and South Hams, where the cooler climate can be more hospitable to the vines. Something particularly vital in the production of sparkling wine.
However, the intrigue does not stop there, as Forty Hall Vineyard, is also a not-for-profit organisation. They aim to promote community health and wellbeing, which is just as well, as they need all the manpower they can muster, since they also don’t use pesticides. Their volunteer programme enables members of the local community to remain socially and physically active, developing new skills and confidence within themselves.
The fact that the end result of this incredibly inspiring process is a delicious bottle of bubbles has to be the most perfect conclusion to their story. And their 2016 London Sparkling Brut is the perfect bottle to try, to get a flavour of the toil and patience that has gone into it’s creation. Made in the traditional Champagne method, we have a mix of Forty Hall Vineyard’s Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes; the Pinot variety giving a rose-blush hue to the enticing bubbles.
The result is a very refreshing blend of citrus flavours - very clean on the palate and fruity - perfect for the Christmas season which rapidly approaches. And when we talk of gifts, surely there can be few more ‘ideal’ than this, with it’s pedigree, this is not simply a bottle of wine you will be handing over, but something much more. Priced at £28.99, and available on The Forty Hall Vineyard website, you can also read up on Sarah Vaughan Robert’s amazing story here. We recommend checking out their other goodies too - especially the 2017 Bacchus. Cheers!