Humbleyard English wines are proud to be part of the new and exciting English wine movement. Following on from the success of English sparkling and still wines at international competition level, they are striving to continue the success with their own Norfolk still and sparkling wines. As one of a number of Norfolk vineyards it is an exciting time for the East Anglian region, as there have been notable achievements at national and international competition level.
The slopes of the vineyard fall away to the south, and beyond the crest of the vineyard, framed by a line of ancient oaks, lies the valley where the Humbleyard Hundred, the legislative and taxation court, met on a monthly basis during Anglo-Saxon times. We selected the site for Humbleyard Vineyard because we had grown excellent early ripening soft fruit on these south facing slopes over the past 35 years. Warm, well drained and largely protected from frost, it has proved to be the ideal location for the vines.
Their first vines were planted in 2010, with further plantings in 2011 and 2012. They now have 9 varieties of equal quantity, totalling about 10,000 vines, covering 8 acres. Each variety flowers and ripens at different times of the summer and autumn which reduces the risk of crop loss due to bad weather. As the timing of the grape harvest is very precise, determined by the sugar and acid levels of the grapes, it also helps that they do not all ripen at the same time!
The grape varieties grown are both white and red including some well-known and some newly selected clones. They have been chosen to make a range of white and rose still and sparkling wines. The aim is to have a selection of blended and single varietal wines ranging from medium dry to off-dry styles.
The white varieties are Solaris, Chardonnay, Reichensteiner, Sauvignon Blanc and Bacchus.The red varieties are Rondo, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Cortis.
”The vineyard is a result of a life-long passion for and interest in wine. Confident that the site we had chosen would be ideal, we decided to embark on the project in 2010 and now have 8 acres of established vines consisting of 9 different grape varieties. The vines were selected for their compatibility with our Norfolk climate and the desire to drink the wine that we like ourselves – crisp White, delicate Rose and high quality Sparkling. Four years on we have some fantastic English wine, grown in Norfolk, to send into the market for all to enjoy”.
Robert Preston, owner of Humbleyard Vineyard