From eating grapes in their dozens to enjoying a glass of wine, I’d never really thought about the process that actually happens between the two until a few months ago. But amazingly, my workplace actually has an on-site vineyard that produces a few thousand bottles of sparkling wine each year! After donning my scruffs and getting handy with a pair of secateurs to help with the harvest earlier in the week, I joined the team visiting Halfpenny Green Vineyards to deliver this year’s batch of grapes.
The first batch of grapes was put straight into one of the presses and within minutes, we were able to taste the pure grape juice that was extracted. It was absolutely delicious – much nicer than wine in fact!
The journey from grape juice to real sparkling wine can last between nine months and two years including fermentation, bottling and labelling. We watched a demonstration of how, once fermentation is complete, the yeast is brought to the top of the bottle and removed. It’s amazing to see the amount of work that goes into creating each product and the family team behind Halfpenny Green are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.
But beyond the creation of wine, there’s much to see at Halfpenny Green and if I lived closer, I’d be very tempted to pop by for lunch in their incredibly cosy restaurant…
…or do my Christmas shopping in their beautiful deli and shop. It was tough to resist buying myself some tasty treats while I was there – the hamper selection would make for incredible Christmas presents! One of the vineyards was looking beautifully seasonal in burnt orange shades and it would have been easy to wander down the vines and feel completely lost within the countryside.
Not being a lover of wine, I didn’t expect to enjoy my time at Halfpenny Green Vineyards as much as I did but, with an interesting story and a friendly atmosphere, it made for a brilliant day out. With craft centre shops on-site as well as the deli, shop and restaurant, you could easily glance at your watch to see that hours had passed without even realising it.
Interested in a visit to try out the delicious food or to tour the vineyard? Halfpenny Green Vineyards is located in Bobbington, Staffordshire.