This is Warren Field. It’s where the first of the 14,000 vines at Forty Hall were planted in 2009. Five varieties are grown here and in neighbouring Long Field: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier, Bacchus and Ortega. The first three of these go into a traditional method sparkling wine, produced in the same way as Champagne, while the Bacchus and Ortega produce single varietal or blended still wines.
From here you can see some of London’s tallest buildings – the Shard and Canary Wharf. They remind you that although you are surrounded by fields and trees, the vineyard is only just over 10 miles from the centre of London.
The vines grow in soils rich in granite, flint, clay and loam on gently sloping, south facing land. This provides excellent conditions to capture the sunlight and heat required to ripen grapes here, in what is a marginal climate for viticulture. The English weather is a constant challenge, with frost in spring, and wind and rain during flowering and at harvest posing serious threats to yields and quality. All of our grapes are grown organically and are certified by the Soil Association. It means that we do not use synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilisers.
Facing the Challenges
Being organic makes things more challenging when it comes to tackling pests and diseases but we believe the positive effects on soil and vine heath, the quality of our fruit, and the long term benefits to the wider environment are worth it.War
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