Places to stay, things to do, good food and drink
Welsh Wine Week – From Saturday 28th May until Sunday 5th June 2011
Welsh Wine has come of age- it is at long last being recognised for it’s quality and individuality, not only nationally but internationally also.
Last year Ancre Hill Estates at Monmouth were awarded a silver medal in the International Wine Challenge and this year it was the turn of Parva Farm Vineyard, Tintern who won a silver medal for their “Tintern Parva Bacchus 2009”, a dry white wine, in the same competition. The International Wine Challenge is one of the most prestigious wine competitions in the world so this says a great deal about the quality of wines now being produced inWales.
Vines have no doubt been grown in Wales for hundreds of years. The Marquis of Bute had a well known vineyard at Castel Coch, near Cardiff, at the end of the 19th century. During the 20th century
several Welsh vineyards came and went but some plantings of the 1970’s and 80’s, such as Parva Farm Vineyard at Tintern and Monnow Valley Vineyard at Monmouth are still going strong. These have now been joined by a string of 21st century vineyards with their modern approaches to vine growing and the current popular varieties of grapes.
During Welsh Wine Week many of these Welsh vineyards will be opening their gates to visitors for vineyard tours, wine tasting and other activities. Participating vineyards in Monmouthshire are:-
Wernddu Wines, Pen-y-Clawdd, nr. Monmouth – an organic vineyard, cider & perry producer. They are opening Tues. 31st May until Fri. 3rd June 11.30a.m.-5p.m. for vineyard walks and tasting of their 2010 organic wine as well as coffee & cakes, alpaca walking & a bouncy castle for the kids. www.wernddu-wine.com
Parva Farm Vineyard, Tintern, nr. Chepstow- a 2.5 acre vineyard on a working farm. Open 11.00a.m.-6.00p.m. every day for self-guided vineyard tours with a treasure hunt for the children and wine
tasting ( including this year’s award winning Bacchus) in the shop. Special guided tours with tutored wine tastings- Tues. 31st May at 2.30p.m. & Thurs. 2nd June at 5.30p.m. £5.00 per head. www.parvafarm.com
Whitecastle Vineyard, Whitecastle nr. Abergavenny- a 3 year old vineyard expecting their first crop this year. Opening 10.30a.m.-16.00p.m. Sats. & Suns. & 15.00p.m.-18.00p.m. Mon.- Fri. to show visitors around and explain how they came to plant their vineyard and what is required to look after it.
Ancre Hill Estates, Rockfield, nr. Monmouth- the largest vineyard in Monmouthshire will open their doors every day from 10.30a.m. -4.30p.m. with twice daily vineyard tours and Welsh cheese platters available for lunch. They will be releasing their first sparkling wine and will have promotions on case sales. www.ancrehillestates.co.uk