We’d booked on a vineyard tour and lunch thanks to a fantastic Christmas present from the “kids”, they’d also included a £40 voucher to spend on their wine too! 🙂
The event was scheduled to start at 12.30pm, but we arrived early just before noon, so after parking up in the vineyard car park we walked the short distance to the Cross Inn for a “snifter” to kill time.
The barmaid was very complimentary about the food we could expect at the event and after a bit of banter from the locals we headed back to the vineyard past a now full car park and into the dining area in the detached barn overlooking rows of vines.
We were served a glass of sparkling wine to start with and a warm welcome speech from one of the founder’s sons called Louis. Following a lull in the rain coupled with the sun making an appearance for the first time we were thoughtfully given blue plastic overshoes for the walking tour as we’d forgotten our wellies!
Louis talked enthusiastically about his father’s idea in the 1970’s to start the first Welsh vineyard and how he and his brother had given up their “normal” jobs now their parents were in their seventies and gone full time as vintners.
We learnt why there are rose bushes at the end of each row (they have a lower threshold for disease so can act as an early warning system) and how as an organic vineyard they only added sulphur to prevent the spread of any disease like mildew.
There is a lot of manual work needed to pinch out excess leaves to aid air flow and improve light to the vine, any buds lower down have to be removed to concentrate growth on the higher horizontal branches.
The vineyard has a flock of “short” sheep which are not tall enough to eat the grapes but are used to eat the grass and any weeds in the rows between the vines. The sheep are a very small breed which are vulnerable to attack from wild animals such as foxes and the vineyard has three llamas that act as “protectors” to the flock following their natural instincts.
After an interesting walk round the two fields of vines totalling six acres, we headed back to the awaiting organically produced local food which was delicious and served with a small glass of rose and white wine, all made from their own grapes.
At the end of the meal we eagerly part-exchanged our £40 voucher against a case of 2015 Glyndwr dry white wine by topping up £15 in cash and then we headed back to the car park, stopping for the following photo at a small bridge alongside a pond near the Norris family home.
It was a great day out so many thanks from both of us to Alex, Emily, James & Emma for one of our best Christmas presents ever and a perfect antidote to all the bad news coming out of London.
After getting back home we chilled the wine then sat down to watch the 23 year old Ariana Grande concert at the One Love Manchester event on TV. We both agreed it was a fantastic uplifting response to the awful Arena bombing on the 22nd May. Made even more poignant by the tragic events the night before in London. 😦