Day 1 Toilet Extension

We need to build an exterior toilet to enable us to have guests to the vineyard. Planning permission passed so “Action Stations.”Vehicles arrive. Work starts on time. Only taken out three rounds of tea this am (low for builders).


Excess soil used to fill in hollows in the vineyard.

TV cameras at the vineyard

Gemma on BBC EMT camera films Liz pruning

We have been worried about the delayed ripening of all the grape bunches. The vines are bearing their biggest crop ever and Liz had spent more of her precious pension lump sum on two 650 Litre stainless steel wine tanks in anticipation of a bumper harvest.

BBC Radio Leicester have done a short story on the unripe grapes today (2-9-2015) at 07.45hr. This broadcast might possibly be repeated on Farming Today.

In the evening BBC East Midlands Today will broadcast the results of filming at the vineyard at 18.30hr. Julia Tristrum Eve from English Winegrowers gave an interview at the same time, here at the vineyard.

Liz is absolutely exhausted this morning. Is this due to the adrenaline surge from media appearances, or is this a result of worrying about the unripe grapes?

Tucking Down

We are busy, assisted by some willing volunteers, tucking the rampant vine spurs dwn behind the trellis wires. We then trim the stragglers with a lithium ion hedge cutter on a pole. This allows the sunlight in, and enables the anti-fungicide and nutrient sprays to get to all the vine leaves.TuckingDown-Liz

Awards Ceremony at Vintners Hall London

Liz went to London where the UK Vineyards Association wine competition awards were presented at the splendid Vintners Hall. The Worshipful company of Vintners are one of the oldest livery companies of London and it was a privilege to be allowed over their hallowed threshold. It was a great moment to receive the bronze medal for Spirit of Freedom, where the grapes were grown at our Rothley vineyard and made into sparkling wine at Halfpenny Green Vineyard. BUT, even more proud of the silver award given to “King Richard” as we made this wine in out boutique winery at home on the vineyard.

The photographs show: 1) Ben Hunt (Halfpenny Green winemaker) Ed Templeman (chair of the Mercian Vineyards Ass’n) Clive Vickers (senior winemaker at Halfpenny Green) and Liz

2) Ceiling in the reception roomUKVA-at-VintnersHall-ceiling

3) Liz Receiving the silver medal.UKVA-Awards-MVA-membersUKVA-awards-RobsonLiz

Beacon Magazine Winners Enjoy Wine Tasting

Helen from Quorn and Sue from Leicester came with their friends for a vineyard tour and wine tasting. They brought some lovely sunshine with them! After a leisurely stroll the vineyard, accompanied by two hens, they were shown the winery and the wine making process explained. Then a short walk to the terrace for a wine tasting of our two sparkling and two still wines. Finally the two mystery gifts were given, at which point the hens arrived to bolster the size of the audience.

The whole event was a wonderful experience for me and I enjoyed every minute of having the guests at the vineyard. Thank you Beacon magazine for promoting this competition, and having such nice readers!


SuePiggins3 SuePiggins2HelenWallis2 TrishJonczyk HelenWallis&Ginger SuePiggins1BothCompWinners

Tucking Down Party

The recent rain and sun resulted in a mass of vine growths with shoots growing horizontally and obscuring the vine alleys. On Saturday our stalwart volunteers came to lend a hand, and three quarters of the vineyard was “tucked down” in one day, with lovely sunshine abounding in an otherwise rainy week. This hard toil was rewarded by feeding our volunteers well. We cannot claim credit for the cooking (apart from washing a lettuce) as two quiches, two desert tarts and gateau for afternoon tea were all made by Dominic at David North (deli 700 yards up the road).

We could not manage to produce grapes and make wine without the help of our volunteers and we are profusely grateful for all the help given.

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Two medals!

Following recent success in the international wine competition where Spirit of Freedom was commended, it attained a bronze medal in the national UKVA competition on 26th June. Many thanks to the talented Halfpenny Green team who produced this lovely pink sparkling wine.

Feeling were elated when the silver medal results were perused. King Richard won a SILVER MEDAL. This was made completely on site in the winery at Kingfishers’ Pool Vineyard by Liz and Matthew with occasional phone/email advice from Halfpenny Green.

Thanks go especially to our volunteers, without whom the picking and production of our wine would not be possible.

Labels Arrived!

The long awaited labels arrived, hand delivered by the designer, Roger Bradshaw of Flexpress in Birstall. He and his wife Terri then stayed to help with a small run of labelling. Now that is service!

All aspects of our wine making are very much on an artisan scale in out historic farm buildings. This includes using a little hand operated labelling machine.

We are really pleased that King Richard and Battle Royal have proper labels on. We can now offer them for sale.

Extreme Housewife

On a rainy day the reknowned Leicester wine blogger, also known as the extreme housewife, Laura cycled over with her stalwart supporter, Mike. We did a tour accompanied by the chickens and then sat under cover tasting the wines as the rain drops fell. Laura is happier behind the camera than in front of it, so I do not have a photo. To read her informative and entertaining account visit