Vineyard Fair Seeks to Engage Community
Kent Vineyard, the English wine producer, is seeking to engage the local community, raising awareness and interest in English wines and supporting local producers, by holding a fair on 31st May at Colliers Green Vineyard. The Kent Vineyard May Fair will offer community involvement in the company’s vineyard projects through adopt-a-vine offers and an English wine tasting stall. The aim of the event is to engage the Kent community, raising the profile of the area’s local producers, cottage industries and its English Wines during English Wine Week (29th May – 6th June).
The resurrection of Colliers Green Vineyard began in October 2009 after it had been uncared for and left to the ravages of nature for a number of years. The partnership team of Richard Jebb and Justin Price who manage Kent Vineyard’s projects, have worked in the vineyard over the winter and spring to prepare it for a return to production and are expecting a small harvest this season, and a return to full production in 2011. The progress of work at the vineyard has been charted through the company’s blog – Tales from a Kent Vineyard (www.kentvineyard.co.uk/blog ).
Kent Vineyard partner, Richard Jebb comments, “When we arrived at the vineyard it was overcome with brambles, tree saplings and the vines, which had not been pruned for several seasons, had grown wild. It was daunting and we were unsure whether it could be saved.”
A visit from Chapel Down’s award winning winemaker Owen Elias put the project into perspective and showed the two that all was not lost.
Jebb continued, “I remember Owen saying, ‘I’ve seen worse’ his enthusiasm was contagious and as he explored the vineyard he explained what we should do and how we should do it; he restored our hope!”
Now the vineyard, which grows grape varieties Bacchus, Seyval Blanc and Schoneburger, is fully pruned, cleared of unwanted growth and in full bud burst. The company aims to produce both English table wines and English sparkling wines, as it currently doesn’t have its own winemaking facilities, the wines will be made by a talented local winemaker. Its first wines are expected in late 2011.
May Fair Stalls
The Kent Vineyard May Fair will feature a number of artisan stalls from local producers of a wide variety of goods that include Kentish cider, handmade aromatherapy oils, soaps, jewellery, candles and hand turned wooden bowls and vases.