• Nichola Kelsey

This is us.


We arrived at Welcombe Hills Vineyard in June 2017, full of ideas, plans and enthusiasm. And, to be honest, little else. After exploring English wine over the previous few years, we were so excited to have the opportunity to tend our own English vineyard and enjoy the fruits of our labour! And, whilst our knowledge of wine producing was sketchy to say the least, we had firm ideas of the product we wanted to end up with.


So, who are these English Wine producers?


Jonathan. Originally from the south of England. Supporter of all sports, particularly rugby and cricket. Enjoys good food (no fish) and fine wine. Drinks A LOT of tea, and partial to a custard cream. Books: political thrillers, or military history. Guilty pleasure: Entourage. Favourite wine we make: Othello 2019, English Pinot Noir




Nichola. Originally from the north of England. Lover of long walks, log fires and cheese. Also enjoys good food (especially fish) and fine wine. Drinks the perfect amount of coffee, and partial to a champagne truffle. Books: crime, thrillers. Guilty pleasure: Coronation Street. Favourite wine we make: The Tempest 2018, English Bacchus



We also have 2 children, aged 9 and 6, currently being homeschooled on a vineyard. You can imagine how that goes. They say it takes a village to raise a child but a whole vineyard to homeschool one. Having tested this theory extensively we'd say it takes A LOT more - hence the launch of our GRIN gin! Aside from this, the vineyard is really turning into a family affair as the boys have shown a genuine interest in what we do here, how the wine is made and what our customers think of it. Just wait until they can drink it too!


Welcombe Hills Vineyard had been producing award-winning wine for many years, and we were keen to not let it down. After a brand-refresh, we took over the management of the vines in 2017 and kicked of our journey into the English Wine industry. After digesting all the copious and detailed notes from the previous owner, speaking to a winery and studying books, guides and YouTube we felt armed with enough knowledge to make a start.


Mistakes were made, and lessons were learnt. But, at our first harvest in 2018 there was only 8 vines which didn’t produce any grapes, thanks to a bout of over-zealous winter pruning. We’ve studied soil profiles, taken advice on nutrients, re-posted, strimmed weeds and cut back hedgerows to allow the vines to get more sunshine. We’ve tasted wine, tested blends and created vineyard tours and wine tasting events. Wine experiences have been added, such as our popular Adopt a Vine scheme and our new Grow Your Own Vineyard pack.


In the first Covid lockdown, we created GRIN – a London Dry Gin infused with our Sauvignon Blanc wine. A floral gin, best suited an Indian tonic, was the perfect concoction to see us through the summer months. In the second lockdown, we studied for and passed our WSET Level 2 in Wine. This lockdown has seen us tasting the previews of our wine for this summer – decided on which grapes to blend together, which grapes will go into still and sparkling wines, and whether we need to think about a new batch of gin. (The answer is always yes, surely?)


2021 is an exciting year for us. We’re giving our tasting room a makeover ready for the socially-distanced vineyard tours this summer, and planting another 2000 grapevines! They will take a few years to establish, but with a bit of patience we hope to double our production in 4 years whilst still bringing some of the older vines back to health.


We love welcoming friends we know, and especially friends we haven’t met yet, to our English vineyard. There is a lot of interest in English wine at the moment (rightly so) and we genuinely enjoy introducing our visitors to award-winning wine made on their doorstep. Last year we welcomed lots of people to the vineyard, all through socially-distanced vineyard tours and wine tasting events, and we’re currently working on ways to continue to do this whilst still adhering to covid guidelines and keeping everyone safe.


Like everyone else, we’re looking forward to the lockdown rules gradually being eased. In the meantime, our 2020 wine is already in production and we’re excited for you to try it soon!


2018

The Tempest, English Bacchus – WineGB Silver Medal

A Rose By Any Other Name, English Rosé


2019

Ophelia, English Sparkling wine - WineGB Silver Medal

The Tempest, English Bacchus – WineGB Silver Medal

Twelfth Night, English Sauvignon Blanc & Bacchus blend -WineGB Silver Medal

Othello, English Pinot Noir & Pinot Précoce

GRIN Gin


2020 – tbc

The Tempest, English Bacchus

Twelfth Night, English Sauvignon Blanc & Bacchus

Ophelia, English Sparkling wine

GRIN Gin


#warwickshire #englishvineyards #whoweare




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