For the time being we will be producing predominantly rosé but in 2010 a large area of the vineyard was planted with Rondo grapes to complement the reds we already have. In a few short weeks we will take delivery of vines to fill the remaining gaps and this in a few years should see Bardingley producing a red wine once again.
We have no intention of becoming a big vineyard – or of producing the same as everyone else – we feel we have a rosé to stand amongst the best produced in the UK. But the intention, long term, is that alongside this we will produce a good red wine – the combination of grapes has already, in experimental form, produced a very drinkable red. When we have full red grape production we hope to be able to offer the two alongside each other, thus fulfilling Harold's dream all those years ago of producing a good English Red Wine.
Bardingley had a winery – the equipment in it, left by Howard and Irene, was dumped by the new owner and when we moved here we converted the building to kennels for our dogs, not knowing then that we would ever need the building for wine making purposes! Our wine has been and will continue to be made for us by Sam Linter at Bookers Vineyard in Sussex. Without a great deal of help and advice from Sam we wouldn't be in the position we are now – her knowledge of winemaking, gained over many years, is far greater than ours ever will be. It suits us to be vine growers and suits us to have such a good wine maker as an advisor and friend.
Without grapes there would be no wine, so we do the cold, wet, muddy bits – and enjoy the sunny days too – and leave the conversion of our grapes into our wine to Sam.
What started as a mad idea (any sane person would have grubbed it and either replanted or just used it as another field on the farm) has turned into a passion and a real investment of time – and of course money!
Please come back soon and check for news. We will put regular updates online, meantime thank you for taking time to visit the vineyard site.