Vineyard to toast 40th anniversary

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A VINEYARD that was formerly the UK’s most northerly plantation is to mark its 40th year producing British wine.

The Renishaw Hall vineyard – which was planted in 1972 by the late Sir Reresby Sitwell – currently produces award-winning white and sparkling wine, and is to introduce a red grape to mark the milestone anniversary.

Members of the public will be invited to attend open days to experience the vineyard.

Kieron Atkinson, the hall’s winemaker and vineyard manager said it has stood the test of time because of the quality of the end products.

“Our sparkling wine rivals anything produced in Champagne” he said. “This is a small vineyard and to be producing Champagne quality wine and for a better price, is quite remarkable.”

Kieron cites the wall around the plantation as the reason for successful crops, as it keeps the temperature inside the vineyard higher.

He said: “When Sir Reresby Sitwell first planted the vineyard, he was considered quite eccentric and no-one thought there was a chance of anything growing this far north. Last year we had more sugar in the crops than I have seen working in the south of England. For north Derbyshire that is incredible.”

Alexandra Sitwell, added: “We are immensely proud of the fact that the vineyard has reached this major milestone and that our special wine has stood the test of time.

“I well remember my father being so proud when Renishaw was deemed the most northerly vineyard in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. It was a record that remained until 1986. Our family owned a vineyard in Tuscany and my father worked in the wine trade for many years.”

The wines are available to buy from Renishaw Hall’s shop, the Peak Edge hotel in Stanedge and Fresh Basil in Belper.

For more information on the anniversary celebrations, call (01246) 432310.

By Ellie Hunter