Vineyard Bursts into Life

The cherry trees (left) escaped the May frosts and their lovely white blossom has given way to dark red cherry buds. The Siegerrebe vines (right) were the first to swell their buds in spring and suffered some 40% loss of buds due to frost, but the remainder are bursting into life to reveal primitive bunches of grapes. The rest of the vineyard is slowly bursting into life, especially after the longed for rain of the last 24 hours.

Cherry tree buds & vine budburst

Artisan Cheese Fair


Our stand

Our very first stand and opportunity to sell wine directly to the public. We had a very busy but enjoyable two days at the cheese fair in Melton Mowbray at the Bank Holiday weekend. We literally had throngs of people at the stand sampling our wines and asking questions. Many were astonished that there was a vineyard in Rothley!

It was only at the end of the second day, when the public had gone, that had had a chance to sample and buy some of the local cheeses. Yumm! We can really recommend that any foodie should attend this cheese fair next year.

Great Day in Oakham

We paid our first visit to Oakham Wines, who took delivery of our Sparkling Orion, Solaris and Royal Richard wines.

This specialist wine shop is an Alladin’s cave of wonderful drinks, cigars and nibbles. The owner/manager, Harish, is a great character and our lively conversation was interrupted by a  customers popping in and out to browse and buy from the well stocked shelves. We then visited other small shops in Oakham and bought our lunch. We progressed to Rutland water for our picnic and a lovely walk. Then guilt set in as we realised we were shirking our pruning duties, so we reluctantly drove home – resolving to find a little more leisure time. It is Easter after all!

Valentine Sparkle?

Which is best for Valentine’s Day? Sparkling Orion with its silver gilt colour and pear flavour livened with a delicate mousse. Perhaps still rosé Royal Richard with its light colour resembling the morganite gemstone, and a taste explosion at first sip? Or, mellow Solaris with golden colour and slow release of flavour?

In the spirit of romance we extent the promotional prices until the 16th February. Sparkling Orion £20,  Royal Richard £8.49 and Solaris £8.00

Our wines can be bought from local shops – see buy – and we can deliver to Rothley and local villages.

Spirit of Freedom – first sip


Grapes waiting for collection

The grapes in the photo went to Halfpenny Green for vinification and making into English Sparkling wine using the traditional method. A preliminary tasting of this, our first, pink sparkling wine was a great occasion. The brut taste exceeded our expectations, and the delicate mousse tickled the tongue. Made from Orion and Regent grapes, we have high hopes for its success. The Halfpenny Green winemaking team are really pleased and we discussed which competitions to enter it for.

The Offie sells Solaris

The Office – treasure trove of speciality beer cider and wine

Award winning off licence “The Offie” is selling the Rothley wine Solaris.

The Offie, 142 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester. LE2 3AE Tel: 0116 2701553

Visit this Aladdin’s cave of artisan and speciality beverages to see Solaris, which is especially nice with turkey!

Rose Bottled

Work experience

Bottle filling machine

Our helper elves arrived again to help with bottling the rose, a blended wine of Siegerrebe for elegance and aroma, Solaris for body, and Rondo for a rich fruit flavour. An efficient bottling line was soon established, and 175 bottles of Royal Richard are awaiting labelling following laboratory analysis and label approval from the FSA Wine Standards officer.

The rose wine is named after Richard III who almost certainly passed through Rothley on his way from Nottingham Castle to Leicester, then onto the fateful day at Bosworth.

Harvest Safely Gathered In


First volunteer takes the plunge

Next volunteer steps in

We took two harvests in September, with much merriment when the grapes were trodden in the traditional manner. The harvest on 18th October was a colder day and the Orion and Regent departed to Halfpenny Green Vineyard to be made into a pink sparkling wine called “Spirit of Freedom” in honour of the abolition of the slave trade (see history section).

Believe it or not, the volunteers are keen to harvest again next year!


A beautifully orchestrated bottling party, CHEERS!



A highly successful bottling party at Kingfishers' Pool

A highly successful bottling party at Kingfishers’ Pool

We are happy to report that our bottling party went according to plan.

After the science part was completed and everything had been sterilised, our helper elves formed a production line and all that could be heard were the happy sounds of bottling another potentially award winning wine.

The day was rounded off with a glass of wine (freshly bottled) and hand crafted delicacies courtesy of Dominic (see the aftermath in the main photograph above).

Many thank you’s to all involved.

Proud to announce…

Winning a SILVER MEDAL at the recent UKVA competition exceeded our expections, as this was the first time our wine had entered a national competition. When we scrutinised the results and realised that our Sparkling Orion was one of only three white sparkling wines from the 2012 vintage to win a medal we were over the moon! 2012 has been a washout summer and we were only one of two Leicestershire vineyards to harvest a crop. This vindicates our choice of the Orion grape, which is very suitable for the Leicestershire terroir as well as producing a delicious wine.

Noting more refreshing than an award winning wine on a beautiful summer day

When the wine arrived from Halfpenny Green Vineyard, specialists in sparkling wine production, we popped a bottle in an ice bucket then sipped it outside, appreciating this crisp, refreshing wine which is so ideal for hot summer evenings.