HISTORY OF THE VINEYARD

Woodchester Valley was established in 2007 when a single acre was planted on our Amberley site to assess the suitability of the land for growing vines. Our first vintage, a crisp dry Bacchus was produced from our 2010 harvest. This was followed by a further planting in 2011, with the Woodchester site planted in 2012 (20 acres), and Doverow in 2013 (another 20 acres). Our winery was established in 2016, with our 2016 vintage being the first year we produced our wines on site.

HISTORY OF THE AREA

Woodchester is home to the world famous Orpheus Roman pavement. This 2,200 sq ft mosaic floor was the centre piece of a 22 acre palace complex dating from AD 200-400 however it is no longer open to the public. It has never been established why such a  building was based in this locality - theories suggest that it was probably the summer palace of the Governor of the western area of England and Wales, conveniently located mid way between Cirencester, the local capital and Caerleon, the military base in South Wales. It is interesting to speculate whether the local terroir might have influenced the siting of the palace.

Our Stonehouse site is on Doverow Hill situated on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. The vineyards are under the hollowed out stone quarry at the top of the hill. In the Domesday book of 1086 there were  2 vineyards recorded in Stonehouse or Stanhus as it was called then, probably because the houses were made from stone from the quarry.

Woodchester Orpheus Pavement in 1973, when it was last uncovered
View over Franciscan convent at Woodchester, c. 1904.

OUR VINES

We grow a selection of grape varieties, spread across our three vineyards. The three sites have different soil profiles although are all predominantly limestone. Our Woodchester and Amberley sites are typical of Cotswold brash - shallow soils with a high stone content overlying Oolitic limestone, particularly favourable for our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. These soils are very free-draining. Our Stonehouse site has a higher clay content and deeper soils well-suited for our Bacchus vines. At all sites, our vines are planted on slopes which are more than gentle but fall short of sheer, facing South, East and South-West.

The grape varieties include: Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Regent Siegerrebe, Solaris, Sauvignon Blanc and Ortega

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Soil profile at our Woodchester site
Soil profile at Woodchester

OUR WINES AND WINERY

We make a variety of still and sparkling wines, both white and rosé using a selection of grape varieties. Our winery was established in 2016, where we were able to press the entire 2016 fruit. Our four-tonne press has the ability to process the grapes for our still wines in an inert environment using nitrogen, eliminating oxygen and preventing deterioration of the flavour and aromatic potential of the wines. Our wines are then fermented at low temperatures, preserving these primary flavours and aromas. They are then settled in tanks equipped with a positive nitrogen gas system that prevents any potential oxidation from ullage space. Our sparkling wines are made using the traditional method, and have a minimum of 2 years on the lees before they are released.

Our current list of wines includes:

White Wines:

  • Bacchus (100% Bacchus)
  • Culver Hill (a blend of Bacchus, Seyval Blanc and Ortega)
  • Orpheus Bacchus (100% Bacchus from select plots)

Rosé wines:

  • Pinot Rosé (100% Pinot Noir)
  • Regent Rosé (a blend of Regent and Pinot Noir)

Sparkling wines (please note that these are not yet ready for release):

  • Classic Cuvee (Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier)
  • Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay)
  • Seyval Sparkling (100% Seyval Blanc)
  • Rosé (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier blend)

All of our wines are available to buy online, directly from our cellar door shop or one of our stockists.

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VISIT US

We would love you to come and visit us, and take a guided tour of our vineyard and winery, or just join us for a tasting. Starting in the next few weeks we will be offering small private, pre-booked tours through the vineyard and winery with experienced members of our team to give you an insight into the world of winemaking.

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