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FHV on BBC Radio 4’s On Your Farm

Philippa Hall (@Strawbtractor) | Twitter

BBC Radio 4’s early morning cult farming programme On Your farm is featuring Forty Hall Vineyard this week. Listen live on Sunday 23 April at 06.35 am for early birds or at your leisure on IPlayer.    

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Beavertown Brewery collaboration Brosé launched

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Last autumn we were contacted by the friendly team at Beavertown Brewery who wanted to experiment with adding wine yeasts to their beers and were looking for London grapes to add to their London brews.   They  joined us for the harvest of our Pinot Noir and then followed the grapes from the vineyard to the winery at Davenport Vineyards.  They waited for the grapes to be pressed and collected 400 kilos of the discarded…

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Funding Success

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We would like to thank London Catalyst  and  Big Potential  for their very generous support which will enable us to deliver our volunteering programme in 2017 and to build the capacity of our organisation to develop as a trading enterprise and to secure future social investments.  

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Launch of the Big Prune 2017

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This year's vine pruning was launched on 8th Feb with a training session from viticultural consultant Duncan McNeill who updated the volunteer team on the latest techniques and thinking behind the gentle pruning method re-introduced by Italian vineyard mavericks Simonit and Sirch.   This method, which was first developed in France in the 19th century, then rediscovered by the Italian team, aims to ensure that vines have a healthy and long life…

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FHV wins Urban Food Award 2016

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We were delighted to be voted 2016’s ‘Capital Growth’s Growing Enterprise’ winner in the Mayor of London’s Urban Food Awards in September. Thousands of Londoners voted for their top growers, products and retailers at the Urban Food Awards, which is organised by City Hall, Borough Market and London Food Link. Forty Hall Vineyard was a part of a group of locally-based producers which were crowned at the awards event, attended…

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Harvest 2016 report: The Highs and the Lows

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2016 was undoubtedly a challenging year with poor flowering in many vineyards and yields below average. On the positive side, there were excellent sugar levels and very ripe grapes.   At FHV, the cool, wet spring weather meant that flowering was late and our Bacchus flowering was devastated by rain resulting in really poor fruit set and an almost total lack of crop. Very disappointing in a year in which we…

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Critical acclaim for our 2015 Bacchus and Ortega

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FHV wines have been praised by leading wine critic and columnist, Matthew Jukes, who selected both our 2015 Bacchus and our 2015 Ortega in his recent compendium of the best of English wine. He describes both wines as: “incredibly impressive debut releases from this amazing project, brimming with crunchy citrus fruit and mouth-watering vitality”. And we have to agree!  

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Funding success

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One of our most long serving and experienced volunteers, Dan, and FHV ecotherapist Charlotte gave a very moving presentation to a group of young investors from Casenove Capital Management at a The Funding Network (TFN) event recently where donors generously pledged nearly £2,000 to support and develop our ecotherapy work. A huge thank you to TFN and to all the donors. And congratulations to Dan & Charlotte. You can catch up on the…

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Harvest 2016

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Yes it is that time of year again! We are really looking forward to our fourth harvest and we will start by picking our early ripening Ortega grapes towards the end of September. The warm, humid weather is making us very nervous as these are the perfect conditions for mildews; our friends the parakeets are also back and enjoying our tasty grapes – so much to worry about! However the…

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New ecotherapy support at the vineyard

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We are delighted to welcome Charlotte Antoniou back to the FHV team as our new ecotherapist. Charlotte, a qualified and very experienced horticultural therapist, ran our successful Fine @the Vine ecotherapy pilot project back in 2011. The pilot project, which was part of a national research project led by MIND, demonstrated the emotional and social benefits of outdoor physical activity and team working for people experiencing mental health problems and social isolation.…

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Urban Food Awards

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Many thanks to everyone who voted for FHV in the recent Urban Food Awards poll. Great news: FHV has been shortlisted for two awards and the results will be announced on 21st September – fingers crossed. Congratulations and good luck to our friends at Holtwhites Bakery, Organic Lea and Gourmet Goat who were also shortlisted.

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FHV Wine Maker does it again!

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Our fantastic wine maker Will Davenport (pictured) has added another award to his collection by winning a Silver Medal from the International Wine and Sprits Competition for his Horsmonden dry white. This marks a role change for Will who usually sits on the judging panel for this competition.

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Team Celebration

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The FHV volunteer team had many reasons to celebrate this week including the completion of the pruning and tying down of our 14,500 vines and the first release of our organic white wines. Over 30 of our volunteer London vignerons gathered at local bar & bistro Orchid 54 for a fascinating wine tasting led by Tulip Hambleton from Sustainable Wines UK and to raise a glass to toast the success of our…

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FHV at the Real Wine Fair

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The Forty Hall Vineyard team were delighted and honoured to be invited to launch our 2015 wines at this year’s outstandingly successful Real Wine Fair at London’s Tobacco Dock in Wapping. Forty Hall Vineyard was one of only three English producers at the fair. Our volunteers were in the company of over 160 of the best artisan growers from around the world who gathered to show over 700 organic, biodynamic…

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First release of Forty Hall Vineyard wine for sale

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We are delighted to announce the first, limited release of two Forty Hall Vineyard single varietal wines: our 2015 Ortega and our 2015 Bacchus. Both wines were launched to great acclaim at the recent Real Wine Fair and are now available for sale for £12.99 whilst stocks last from our ‘cellar’ door at the Forty Hall Farm Shop (open Wed, Sat & Sun 11am – 4.00pm). The two varietals are very…

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Visit us at the Real Wine Fair

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We are delighted to announce that Forty Hall Vineyard has been invited to exhibit at the prestigious Real Wine Fair this year, where we will be showing our 2015 Bacchus and Ortega varietal white wines, due for release in May. The fair is a celebration of the labour, craft and skill of small independent vine growers and features over 140 organic, biodynamic and natural wine makers from around the world, as…

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First London vineyards get-together

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In February FHV attended the first gathering of London vineyard growers hosted by journalist, English wine enthusiast and London blogger Victor Keegan. Among other projects attending were the Urban Wine Company, a crowd sourced project gathering grapes from allotments and back gardens, and Organiclea who run a community wine making scheme and micro winery. Paul Olding, author of The Urban Vineyard, a beginner’s guide to grape growing, and the publishers of UK Vine,…

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Gentle pruning introduced at FHV

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A huge thanks to our volunteers who have just completed our annual Big Prune – hand pruning over 14,500 vines! Before pruning started, we completed a day’s training with our viticultural consultant Duncan McNeill (pictured). As well as refreshing our knowledge and understanding of the principles of commercial vine pruning, we were introduced to the concept of “gentle pruning.” This method avoids large cuts to old wood and concentrates on smaller…

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New Ecotherapy support thanks to TFN

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Thanks to a nomination made by Forty Hall Vineyard sponsor Ian Kitchen to The Funding Network (TFN), we were invited to make a presentation to network members at their Christmas fundraising event. Dan (pictured) and Sarah told people about our work and how volunteering at the vineyard helps people improve their mental and physical health and general sense of wellbeing. The Christmas spirit was flowing and The Funding Network members pledged over £10,000 to Forty Hall Vineyard to…

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Farewell and Congratulations!

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Many thanks, farewell and congratulations to Peter who has left to work with Enfield Council’s waste management team. Peter (pictured far right) started volunteering at FHV when he was made redundant in 2014.  His energy and skills were evident in his work with fellow volunteers Ben and Kevin (also pictured) as they undertook applying over 15 tonnes of mulch made from London green waste to our vines in Warren Field and collecting and…

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