SIGN UP FOR UPDATES
Welsh Wine Week
Welsh Wine Week 2nd – 11th June
Welsh Wine Week celebrates the great wineries in Wales every year. In our shop, we stock a range of Welsh wine. Without fail, a number of customers will be surprised that we produce wine in Wales at all. If you want to see the ever-growing list of Welsh vineyards, pop over to the Vineyards of Wales website – you’ll be amazed!
Another thing that surprises customers is the quality of Welsh wines. The growers from all over Wales are well educated in their field and forever developing and experimenting. It’s a real treat to see biodynamic and organic practises in vineyards such as Ancre Hill. This of course is no mean feat in a country like Wales where keeping disease and rot at bay is tricky and a bit easier in a warmer, drier climate.
I cannot keep up with the new vineyards in Wales and this is very exciting. I think the newest development that promises to be a real a game changer is Robb and Nicola Merchant’s plans to develop a winery. If this is successful, it means they can produce their award winning wines on site as well as make wines for other Welsh growers.
Support the Development of Welsh Wine
You can be a part of this exciting project. White Castle have established a Crowdfunding page to raise funds and there are a number of options for you to choose. Have a look and see if you fancy supporting their brave development. It’s this kind of ‘go-for-it’ spirit that will help carve out a promising future for the Welsh wine industry.
Welsh Wine Week in Dylanwad
If you call in to our shop/cafe/bar during that week, we will have a range of Welsh wines for you to taste. Come and see for yourself what the fuss is about if you haven’t tried them before. Alternatively, just enjoy a glass and relax or pop onto our website to discover Welsh wine! Iechyd da!
Some frequent questions about Welsh Wines
When customers visit our shop they are often surprised by the fact that there are Welsh wines. It is unusual really because we are on the cusp of the northern hemisphere limit for successfully growing wine grapes for commercial use. However, Welsh wines are increasing in number every year and there are some 40 Welsh vineyards by now. You will see several on our shelves, two being Montgomery and Llaethliw.
Where can grapes for Welsh wines be grown?
As well as finding the correct soil composition the most important fact is probably the aspect of the vineyard. A nice south facing slope is important so that the grapes catch as much of that ripening sun as possible in a cooler climate. One of the greatest problems a grape grower will face is the unpredictable weather. A late frost can decimate your crop and winds can destroy the vine itself. Hailstones or heavy rain can disrupt flowering and of course, damp conditions can encourage mould. So grape growing in Wales has its challenges.
Which grapes are used for Welsh wines?
If we take the above into account, then choosing grapes that are early ripening and disease resistant is wise. There are clones of grape varieties that can answer these needs. Solaris and Rondo are very popular varieties in Wales. The white is a fresh and dry fruity style that is probably comparable to a Sauvignon Blanc. Rondo, the red produces a light juicy fruit wine. There is a Pinot Noir clone (Précoce) which does very well in Wales (White Castle’s Gold Medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards for example) and many growers choose to grow this variety.
What kind of wine can I expect from Wales?
An ever growing variety is the answer. When you see that Ancre Hill have grown Albariño after studying the similarities in climate between Galicia and Monmouth it’s clear that the vision is there. White Castle Vineyard has also ventured with Cabernet Franc (and I see on social media that they’re plotting for something new here too!) It’s patently obvious that the skill and appetite to do something different is growing in Welsh wine makers. They’re doing their research and investigating different possibilities: Gwinllan Y Dyffryn planted a grape called Divico to try and achieve a more robust style of red and it’s also disease resistant. So we can see that we are just at the beginning of our wine adventure here in Wales. We have a range in the shop and there’s usually at least one open behind the bar for you to try. Click here for the online selection.