An award winning family vineyard on the Shropshire/Powys border has just planted 500 new vines.
Kerry Vale Vineyard has made the bold decision to plant 500 Pinot Noir vines to complement its existing award winning varieties.
The vineyard, which lies just three miles south of Montgomery and was planted in 2010, is looking to widen its offer and increase its range of still and sparkling wines.
Owner Russell Cooke said: “Pinot Noir produces beautiful, light bodied, red wines which offer high acidity and medium tannins. Its flavoursome, fruity notes make it a popular choice for wine drinkers and we are excited to be able to add it to our collection.
“It’s a versatile variety and one of the three primary grapes found in champagne. We hope to blend with our white varieties to make more award winning English sparkling wine and also use it to produce soft and fruity still reds.”
Best grown in cool climates, Pinot Noir is the second most grown variety in the UK, accounting for 26% of total plantings.
The vineyard considered soil content, weather conditions and temperature, which all effect the grapes flavour, before deciding where to plant the 500 grafted vines spaced at 1.2 metres in rows 2.3 metres apart.
“Growing Pinot Noir can be tricky, but we have recently conducted a soil analysis which revealed the land at vineyard is perfect,” added Russell. “Unlike many plants, vines struggle to produce fruits in soils that are too rich in nutrients and they don’t like water around their roots.
“At Kerry Vale Vineyard, our soil has a low pH and excellent drainage, creating perfect growing conditions for our baby vines. Timing is also very important. We waited until spring to plant as vines do best when planted after the last freeze and when there is decreased chance for frost.”
These new vines will take between and two and three years to grow a harvestable crop followed by a further six to 12 months of waiting while the grapes are turned into wine.