It’s Welsh Wine Week! And you might notice we’re feeling a bit Cymraeg over here at Great British Wine with our new look this week.
Members of the Great British Wine team, Robbie Priddle, Hannah Gray and myself, have teamed up with a trio of Welsh winemakers (Montgomery Vineyard, White Castle Vineyard and Llanerch Vineyard) and a quintet of wine and social media aficionados to champion Welsh wine this week. Brad Horne (@WineTimeLondon), Lee Isaacs (@Wineman147), Tommy Grimshaw (@EmergingVines), Jess Lamb (@jesslambwrites) and of course the GBW team will all be taking to Instagram over the course of the week to host a series of involving and entertaining sessions about Welsh wine.
A full schedule of activities can be found below, as well as a collection of links where you can buy Welsh wine online and profiles on the three producers we will be covering during our upcoming Instagram session on Friday.
Be sure to check here on Great British Wine on Wednesday, as Robbie will be posting an article on his eclectic Welsh wine tasting held last week at Velfrey Vineyard.
Where to Buy Welsh Wine?
Our friends at Grape Britannia continue to support Welsh wine with a selection from White Castle and Ancre Hill.
Surely the largest stockists of Welsh wines online?
Viader Vinters also has a selection of mixed case deals.
Stocking a large range of wines from White Castle, The Very English Wine Company also has a mixed case deal.
Representing the Vineyards of Wales, there is a useful resource here for which Welsh vineyards you can buy from directly.
The baby of the Welsh wine scene, but certainly a force to be reckoned with, Montgomery Vineyard has burst onto the scene and impressed with its modern branding and bright, expressive wines. The driving force behind Montgomery is Woody Lennard, who, together with his family, planted Solaris, Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Rondo in their vineyard in ‘the garden of Montgomeryshire’.
The vineyard was planted with Solaris, Rondo, Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir Précoce and Bacchus in 2014. In these few short years, Montgomery have already received critical acclaim, with the 2017 Sparkling Rosé taking the title of ‘Best Sparkling Rosé’ and ‘Best in Show’ at the 2019 Welsh Wine awards. I’ll be tasting this wine, together with the Bacchus & Solaris 2018 blend during our Instagram Live session on Friday.
White Castle Vineyard
Situated near the market towns of Abergavenny and Monmouth, White Castle Vineyard is owned and run by husband and wife team, Robb and Nicola Merchant. They first planted 4,000 vines in 2009 with Pinot Noir, Regent, Rondo, Seyval Blanc & Phoenix. A further 2,000 vines of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc were planted in 2019 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original planting.
Robb is a larger-than-life character and is well-known in the Welsh wine scene. He produces quite a range of wines, covering still red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, and even a fortified wine, 1581, made from Regent with 19.5% ABV. Our favourite wines from the range are the Pinot Noir Précoce and Pinot Noir Reserve. I have described the latter as: “Precise with plentiful red fruit flavours. Chilling helps to emphasise this, and brings out tangy black fruit textures.” Robbie will be tasting both of these wines during our Instagram Live session on Friday.
First planted in 1986, Llanerch Vineyard is located to the north-west of Cardiff just outside of Hensol. After significant restoration in 2010, owner Ryan Davies now grows an impressive array of varieties including Solaris, Phoenix, Reichensteiner, Seyval Blanc and Triomphe.
Llanerch is also home to an award-winning restaurant and hotel, offering luxurious rooms with expansive views across the vineyards and Welsh countryside. Hannah will be tasting Llanerch’s Cariad Dry White 2018 and Off-Dry White 2018 during our Instagram Live session on Friday.