London

North London vineyard harvests first crop

Grapes at vineyard
Image caption Forty Hall Vineyard in Enfield claims to be the largest vineyard in London

A vineyard in north London has harvested its first crop.

Forty Hall Vineyard, in Enfield, claims to be the first organic commercial-scale vineyard in London and has been growing grapes since 2009. Its vines recently matured.

The community project hopes to produce its first bottle of wine by next spring.

Manager Sarah Vaughan-Roberts said the project would allow Londoners to get involved in wine production.

"We'll only have a small amount as our vines are still very young," she said.

"But as each year goes by we will increase the amount."

First crops

Ms Vaughan-Roberts says volunteers will continue to harvest crops from the 10-acre site in the next few weeks.

She said the inspiration for the project came from similar ventures overseas.

"It was just an intriguing thought of 'could it be done'," said Ms Vaughan-Roberts.

"I'd heard a lot about a vineyard in Paris and some near New York City and I thought global warming might provide an opportunity for this crop to be a success."

The vineyard is growing three champagne varieties of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, in addition to Ortega and Bacchus vines.

The community project is being run in partnership with local horticultural college Capel Manor College, and the wine will be produced at a winemakers in Kent.

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