Welcombe Hills Vineyard is a family business run by husband and wife team, Jonathan and Nichola Kelsey.
In 2017, a job change moved our family 100 miles from London to rural Warwickshire. We were lucky enough to fall in love and buy a house nestled on the Welcombe Hills that overlooks Stratford-Upon-Avon that also came with a small English vineyard.
We decided from the start, despite no experience, that we were going to manage it ourselves and it has been a rollercoaster of a ride! Find out why we have fallen in love with English wine here!
Welcombe Hills Vineyard was planted in 2001 as a “hobby vineyard” and then has grown over time. This also explains the wide variety of grapes that we produce here, with 9 in total from our 2½ acres of vines.
The land itself was formerly farmed by the Shakespeare family, and more recently used to be part of the well-known Snitterfield Fruit Farm. To this day, we are still surrounded by plum and apples orchards, as well as a strawberry field. Perched at the top of Welcombe Hills on rocky clay terroir the site has great drainage sloping down to the river Avon.
An initial area of half an acre was planted in 2001 with Pinot Noir together with Dornfelder and Bacchus. In 2003, the vineyard was extended with a second planting of 1200 more vines (Bacchus, Auxerrois, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir Precoce) which were harvested for the first time in 2007. There is also a third area of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Precoce, planted in 2010.
In 2020 we expanded the vineyard planting another 3,500 Chardonnay, Bacchus & Pinot Noir vines taking us to a total planted area of 4.5 acres and 6,000 vines.
Welcombe Hills Vineyard has established a reputation at both local and national level for producing award-winning wines of high quality. We have been recognised with many awards including 5 silver medals in 2021 from Wine GB and the IEWA.