Plans to plant the vineyard were drawn up in 2003, the ground was prepared in January 2004 and the vineyard was planted in the spring of 2004. It took two years of care to get the vines to a stage where they were capable of producing a crop. In the spring of 2006 the trellis system was install, the vines pruned and tied down for the first time. It was amazing to see the vines grow, the buds burst, the flower heads form and eventually produce fruit for the first time .The summer of 2006 was memorable for being one of the hottest summers on record and it produced a bumper harvest. The grapes were harvested in October and sent to Halfpenny Green Winery for vinification.
The aim of the vineyard is to develop a sustainable local rural business with a respect for traditional vineyard practices combined with a modern approach to wine making and, most importantly – a passion for creating wines that provide pure pleasure. We hope that the business will become an asset to the local community, provide employment and help to boost other local businesses, especially the tourist industry.
The vineyard was founded by Bob O’Brien. Bob’s first interest in viticulture and wine making came from his experiences living abroad. He spent his early 20’s working as a Computer Scientist at CERN in Geneva in the mid 80’s during the early development of the internet. During this time he lived across the border in France in an old vineyard farm house in the midst of local vineyards. In the late eighties he was seconded to Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley California and during his stay he became friends with one of the Directors of the laboratory who had a small twenty-acre vineyard in the Napa Valley which is one of the main wine growing regions in the United States. Both of these experiences set the seeds for the future.
After establishing and running a successful engineering consultancy company Bob bought a thirty-five acre farm in Shropshire in late 1999 as a renovation project. In 2002, whilst driving to south Shropshire Bob noticed a sign to vineyard outside Shrewsbury and decided to investigate. The vineyard in question was Wroxeter Roman Vineyard. The visit opened up the idea of planting a vineyard and eventually producing English wine at the farm.