HRH The Duke of Kent visits Albury Vineyard in Surrey
28th April 2016
It was the perfect end to a day packed with royal duties: His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent sat relaxed in a sun-drenched vineyard in Albury and toasted the Queen’s birthday in a cocktail created especially for the occasion – Albury Royal.
Nick Wenman, who planted the vineyard in 2009, showed the Duke and the Lord Lt of Surrey, Michael More Molyneux, the different varieties of vines and explained how critical the next few weeks would be with the threat of frost.
“The Duke was very interested in the ‘boujies’, the candles that we light throughout the vineyard to lift the temperature above freezing,” he said.
With Alex Valsecchi, the vineyard manager, he explained how the vineyard was cultivated along not just organic, but biodynamic principles.
“This method of cultivation is unusual in England as we are up against the weather,” he said. “We don’t use any systemic chemicals. We have gone back to the essence of organics using plant extracts, natural components and compost, and we work with the vines according to the phases of the moon.”
The Duke was invited to taste the different organic Albury wines, including Albury Royal, a cocktail created in honour of the Queen’s birthday and made from Albury Estate Blanc de Blancs with wild hibiscus flowers and hibiscus syrup. The cocktail will be available in pubs and restaurants over the summer. Guests including Deputy Mayor of Guildford Gordon Jackson and his wife Sue were also invited to try the Albury Royal and as the visit was the day before Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday, Nick proposed a toast to Her Majesty.
“It was a terrific honour to have HRH The Duke of Kent visit Albury Vineyard,” he said. “It was great to have the opportunity to show him how we grow our organic vines and tell him about our naturally produced, award-winning wines. We are proud to be part of the rapidly expanding English wine industry and are thrilled that his HRH enjoyed tasting our fine wines from the Surrey Hills.
“He particularly enjoyed the Duke’s Reserve Brandy which is named after the Duke of Northumberland who owns the Albury Estate, and which is made from our wine distilled by Silent Pool Distillery.”
It was a beautiful sunny day, the neatly pruned vines looked immaculate and the Duke looked happy and relaxed, sitting chatting with Nick, his daughter Lucy, Alex and Albury’s Australian winemaker Mike Florence from Litmus Wines.
Albury Vineyard, located in the beautiful Surrey Hills just outside of Guildford, produces still and sparkling organic wines of the highest quality. The vineyard comprises 21,000 vines spanning 12 acres across the North Downs. Nick believes that key to the success of the wines is the vineyard’s commitment to organic and biodynamic principles. Albury is one of only a handful of organic vineyards in England.
The first vintage of Albury’s award-winning Silent Pool Rosé was served on board the Royal barge to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and was the only Surrey wine to win a coveted gold award in the UKVA wine competition last year.
Glass of Bubbly
Executive editor of news content for the website Please enjoy the articles that we share - We hope you find our love for Champagne & Sparkling Wines both interesting and educational.