Winery Plans Submitted

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!

Know Your Grapes – Solaris

This is our biggest planting in the Amber Valley Wines Vineyards to date with over 700 vines in the ground.

Solaris is quite new and was only released for planting in 2005.

This grape is a crossing of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat Ottonel, Zaraya Severa and Seyval Blanc. Solaris is an early ripening variety with good resistance against fungal diseases and frost. It gives wines which have fruity and perfumed aromas with hints of banana and hazelnuts, with medium acidity. It is considered to be suitable for dessert wines, as it ripens to high must weights.

In cooler climate, with less sugar contens, also as a dry wine suitable for fish, shrimps or chicken.

The variety is stated as a Vitis vinifera grape, although it contains traces of hybrid grapes in its pedigree. It is an approved as a Vitis vinifera grape by EU, to grow and make wine of. It is formally listed as a Vitis vinifera cultivar. It received varietal protection in 2001.

It orignates from Germany.  Wine characteristics :

Colour : Yellow-Green / Yellow

Aroma : Fruity, Perfumed with hints of banana & hazelnuts.

Palate : Strong, Characterful & Fruity.

Many Hands Make Light Work

It was pruning time at the Doehole Vineyard site for Amber Valley Wines at the weekend and a determined bunch of our shareholders joined Barry (Duncan had booked a weekend away !) to get the all important first job of the year done & dusted in record time.

A big thank you goes out to our intrepid volunteers the vineyard was beautifully pruned in just a few hours.

Initially a bit cloudy, the wind, which in the sheltered vineyard wasn’t too bad, warmed and the skies cleared and lead into a lovely warm afternoon – perfect for pruning.

Barry’s wife, Kat, had baked up a storm and supplied chocolate muffins with ganache swirls on top and very popular maple and pecan topped shortbreads that disappeared in no time.  The new shed provided a great little base to work from.

Next up is a couple of evenings or a weekend day of tying down later in April, or early May.

Look out for dates – the wine will be on Duncan – his penance for taking a weekend away and not leaving the wine behind!

And I’m sure I can persuade Kat to bake more maple and pecan shortbreads!

Thanks again to all who took part in what proved to be an amazing day!