Even down the end of the garden, down by the shed, the garden's in bloom. Loving the bluebells, tulips, anemone.
Karen of luxuryspringcottageyorkshire.co.uk
And apparently it dates back to the Romans
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I recently visited to stock up and enjoyed a chat over Yorkshire tea (what else!) with The Fletchers who now run the vineyard. A chance to find out more about this family business and to take a sneaky peek behind the scenes.
The family took over the business 16 months ago a (eldest son Jon used to work for the previous owners). They’ve certainly made it their own; some of the wines are being renamed, new ones added, they have a lovely new website and logo and a fresh approach to the business.
They want to make wine tasting and wine making fun, approachable and unstuffy. For example a new rose wine is going to be named Rosie (after Aunt Rosie!). Michelle explained that we all taste wine differently and as long as you like what you’re drinking then that’s all that matters. This applies to when you’re eating fish and chips or the finest cordon bleu cooking.
Anything from harvesting grapes, tractor driving, bottling, bird scaring, filtering wine, sticking on labels can be on the agenda.
All grapes for all wines are grown on their land at Westow and bottled on site. Picking, all by hand, usually takes place in October, with a willing bunch of local volunteers. Hard work but it sounded like a lot of fun and just a bit competitive!
Bottling was taking place the day I visited. The grape juice had been stored in a vat since October. It’s monitored twice daily and in the winter if it’s too cold the vats are wrapped in an electric blanket! Each wine is made to a ‘recipe’. All wines are low in sulphate so don’t give hangovers – a marketing angle if ever there was one!
It’s the perfect location for this business. The family have very good relationships with retailers and other food producers. And their new luxurious B&B rooms are decorated with as many items bought locally as they could. From shops such as Hare & Wild, The Rusty Fox and Interiors at Nine to Eleven (all in Malton).
The vineyard’s best seller is Taste of Paradise, a dry sparkling fizz. It definitely stands up to France champagne. Yes, they even sell it to the French! It takes 2 years to get this wine ready. Jon explained “It has a great dry, shortbread(y) taste, perfect for summer, celebrations and just about anything. We had several bottles with our Christmas lunch”.
Apparently it goes really well with cheesy pasta carbonara! And “it’s perfect with smoked salmon and haddock and chicken Caesar salad”. “It’s a very simple blend of Ortega and Seyval grapes and that simplicity and perfect blend makes it very versatile.”
Wolds View is shortly to be renamed Yorkshire’s Lad, after Jon. There are not many people can claim that!
The family have many other exciting plans too, not just producing more wine and doing vineyard tours. For example they’re hosting a star gazing night in June and plans are afoot to turn one of the barns into a cafe.
For more info and to order wine online, visit the website: >>Ryedale Vineyards<<
And here’s one idea I love – making soap from the unused grape pips. Watch this space! These soaps may well be coming to Spring Cottage in the near future!
Michelle has invited me back in the summer to see the vines in full bloom. I look forward to it.
Thank you The Fletchers for an informative and fun afternoon.
Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here:
Here's a round up of the best places to take afternoon tea.
I can personally recommend The Black Swan in Helmsley and of course The Talbot in Malton
Here's more about what's going on at this stately home over Easter.
I'm not a fan of the fast rides so I head to the zoo and looking forward to seeing Baringo, a black male rhino, joining three female rhines already there.
Flamingo Land's black rhinos are part of a European breeding programme, aimed at conserving this critically endangered species.
Go see them for yourself: