Exciting news folks, Amber Valley Wines have today submitted their planning application for a new winery, just on the outskirts of Wessington. As far as we know, the first purpose built estate winery in Derbyshire!
As you know this has been a long held ambition of ours since we started planting vines in 2011 and now with our first wines about to be released it is time to plan for crafting and bottling our own estate wines. Wines from grapes grown, nurtured, harvested, handcrafted and bottled right here in the Amber Valley.
We held a one-day consultation event on a Saturday back in later part of 2012 where we showed our, at that point, very rough plans for a winery. The two options open to us, and which we put before the public, was for a winery in the existing stables, which would mean an access road across a field and occupying a building that was, in size and quality, not fit for purpose.
The other was for a purpose built winery that was designed to have a minimal impact within the landscape. The latter met with universal approval. Of all the people that visited us that day from the village, there was overwhelming support for our plans, which were seen as very positive for the village.
Much of the activity around the winery will be concentrated into the autumn months, from September to November mainly. The rest of the year will see some coming and going as the winery will act as a base for our vineyard operations and storage of plant machinery.
Aside from the winery we have plans to grow as a business, to plant more vines in the local area and we are always actively seeking new opportunities and places to grow our vines. We will employ local people to work in our vineyards, harvest our grapes and produce our wines and a winery is a key lynchpin in our business growth plans.
The winery, if approved, will measure 22m long by 7m wide and will reach maximum height of 7m but will be cut into the slope of the hill behind a high hedgerow to reduce its impact in the landscape. Wessington is a beautiful rural village, overlooking the stunning Amber Valley, where our business and wines take their name, so we want to build a sustainable business base that fits into the local landscape as much as possible. The plans we’ve submitted, which are outline plans with all matter reserved, are shown in this link Site Plan.
We’ll keep you posted on how the application is progressing and if you live locally, and want to support us we’d be delighted if you could write to the planners at North East Derbyshire District Council. Once we have a planning application number allocated we’ll pop it up here.
We anticipate that the winery may be open for our grapes by the harvest of 2016 – with luck!