A Visit to Halfpenny Green Vineyards English Sparkling Wine
18th September 2017
Now not many would expect to find a busy and most successful vineyard just outside Wolverhampton, but here I found a very active and fast-growing Halfpenny Green Vineyards with a most delightful and varied selection of fine English wines to explore.
Once again the rain followed me, typical English summer weather many would say, but it did not dampen my mood as I arrived at Halfpenny Green Vineyard which holds a decent lengthy history in producing wines on English soil dating back to 1983. Now at almost 30 acres with plenty of vision for expansion, the vineyard that was created by Martin Vickers over 30 years ago remain in the family with his son Clive, who I spent the afternoon with, now running the whole operation.
There is a nice atmosphere at Halfpenny Green Vineyards, very much a close working relationship with everyone and still very much working with tradition as founder Martin Vickers still plays an important role in the business with regards to the advising of and expansion of vineyards. What is also important to note is that over 90 steel tanks are set within their winery and over 40 wine growers in local regions to include out within Wales are using their winemaking set up to produce their wines – Halfpenny Green Vineyards is very much a strong heartbeat within the Midlands for English wine.
What I noted as soon as I entered the vineyard was the abundance of grapes on their vines, I’d only just come back from Prosecco with the Glera grapes prime for picking and it was kind of deja vu in some ways seeing the Halfpenny grapes – Up in the Midlands, there is no holding back the splendid amount of fruit the vineyards are producing!
Like many English wineries, Halfpenny Green Vineyards also offer guided tours and tastings along with having a restaurant and tea room so is a great choice for a family day out. The tasting room offers a great view of vineyards and is where you can sit down and relax whilst tasting your way through over a dozen of their wines whilst paired with local cheeses – Once done you can select your wines which you may wish to purchase along with a browse around their shop and delicatessen. My visit was in early September and the place was busy with visitors and those coming to stock up on their English wine – A greater proportion of the wine sold here is to the local community on site.
So what about the English Sparkling Wine I hear you call! I had a nice afternoon sit down with Clive and we went through their entire range to include four from the sparkling production – There was certainly a standout wine for me which was their Quality English Sparkling Wine Brut 2014 (a warm golden yellow colour and a highly complex and pleasing nose offering apricot, ripe peach, honey, vanilla and more with a refreshing ripe yellow stone fruit, brioche and ripe green apple taste). They also had a red sparkling wine which is always pleasing to see and rising in popularity, this was not overly heavy and offered a ripe freshly crushed summer berry fruit taste which I paired with some local creamy Shropshire blue cheese from Colston Bassett.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.