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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Shropshire vineyard flourishes with new vines

An award-winning Vineyard on the Shropshire border has just planted 500 new vines.

Russell Cooke planting the new Pinot Noir vines
Russell Cooke planting the new Pinot Noir vines

This May, South Shropshire based Kerry Vale Vineyard, has made the bold decision to plant 500 Pinot Noir Vines to complement their existing award winning varieties.

Kerry Vale Vineyard which lies just 3 miles south of Montgomery was planted in 2010. The award-winning family vineyard, which hosts a café with tasting rooms, is looking to widen its offer and increase the range of still and sparkling wines.

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Owner Russell Cooke commented “Pinot Noir produces beautiful light bodied red wines which offer high acidity and medium tannins.  It’s flavoursome fruity notes make it a popular choice for wine drinkers and we are excited to be able to add it to our collection. It’s a versatile variety and one of the three primary grapes found in Champagne.  We hope to blend with our white varieties to make more Award winning English sparkling wine and also use it to produce soft and fruity still reds”.

Best grown in cool climates, Pinot Noir, It’s the second most grown variety in the UK, accounting for 26% of total plantings.

Once the vineyard had decided where to plant the vines (considering soil content, weather conditions, and temperature  –  which all effect the grapes flavour), the Vineyard team hand planted the 500 grafted vines spaced at 1.2m in rows 2.3m apart.

Russell, Owner of Kerry Vale, went on to say “Growing Pinot Noir can be tricky, but we have recently conducted a soil analysis which revealed the land at Vineyard is perfect.  Unlike many plants, vines struggle to produce fruits in soils that are too rich in nutrients and they don’t like water round their roots. At Kerry Vale Vineyard our soil has a low pH and excellent drainage – creating perfect growing conditions for our baby vines! Timing is also very important – we waited until spring to plant as vines do best when planted after the last freeze and when there is decreased chance for frost”.

These new vines will take 2-3 years to grow a harvestable crop followed by a further 6 – 12 months of waiting while the grapes are turned into wine. Viticulture (wine growing) and winemaking is definitely not for the impatient!

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