Located in the heart of Worcestershire....


Vineyard with Malvern Hills

VINEYARD IS CLOSED and NO LONGER EXISTS

Various trellis and vineyard items FOR SALE

Please contact with requirements

 

 

 

 

Scroll down the right hand side of the Blog panel to view all the Blog content

 

 

Start

On February 14th 2003, we (Richard and Rita Tomkinson) became the owners of 2.25 acres of recently ploughed agricultural land at the bottom of our garden. We had been negotiating with the farmer for the purchase of this land for some time believing that it was unlikely we would be successful.
This was the end of a very large field, whose purchase allowed us to extend our boundary fence straight across the field end. We now had a south facing slope looking towards the Malvern Hills with views over Worcester and the Cathedral. The big question was what to do with it?
Having considered many options and after a visit to Astley Vineyard, I invited the vineyard consultant, Simon Day to view the site for a potential new vineyard. The aspect ticked all the right boxes and the soil sample showed a sandy clay top soil with a sandy loam beneath, which was also acceptable. The site is about 40 to 50 metres above sea level and so Simon supported the idea of creating a vineyard.
During April 2003, 50 Phoenix vines were planted and Rose Bank Vineyard was started.

Training

Having very quickly created a fledgling vineyard with the belief that if the few vines planted were successful, further planting would follow, it was now necessary to gain some knowledge on vineyard management.
Plumpton College had been mentioned as being “the place” to go to be trained. However, the location of Plumpton College in East Sussex was a daunting prospect especially if courses spanned a number of weeks. Having reviewed the various courses on offer, I attended the Principles of Vinegrowing course. This was one day a month spread over 8 months, with the theory in the classroom on the morning and the practical in the vineyard in the afternoon, whatever the weather.
Simon mentioned a trellis system called Scott Henry. The Plumpton course verified that their assessment of the system made it highly recommended. I therefore decided that Scott Henry was coming to Worcestershire.

Training
Planting

Planting

 

2003

2004

2005

2006

Vines:-

 

 

 

 

Phoenix

50

350

50

2

Madeleine Angevine

 

150

 

250

Reichensteiner

 

 

312

 

Regent

 

 

 

256

Trellis:-

 

 

 

 

8ft Posts

20

175

90

140

Tubex

 

550

 

 

Bamboo Canes

125

1000

 

500

Rabbit Guards

50

750

200

500

Wire Cable – 2.5 mm

3500 metres

 

750 metres

 

Wire Cable – 1.5 mm

8400 metres

 

2900 metres

 


All 8ft posts were knocked 2 ft into the ground using a “thumper”, forming rows 2.1 metres apart. I was fortunate to find a local ship’s chandler that was closing down and so I have used multi strand stainless steel wire. The big advantage is that the wire doesn’t put up a fight when being unwound from the spool. I initially used black polythene as weed control but quickly replaced it with individual Tubex around the vines.

Posts
Tubex

The Tubex are excellent and provide the right rabbit protection and start up conditions for the vines. After the first year, I replaced the Tubex with plastic rabbit guards so that the Tubex can be reused for the next planting.
We have planted 1441 vines, by hand, at a cost of 3 broken forks, 1 broken spade, numerous blisters and a permanent stoop. The rootstock is SO4 and the vines are 1.5 metres apart.


Equipment

Our first piece of vineyard equipment purchased was a compact tractor and a topper. The topper has proved very useful, as the original ploughed field was sown with grass (and a lot of weeds) when we took ownership. As the tractor has no hydraulics, I needed to obtain a fan assisted sprayer that I could either tow behind the tractor or carry on the three point coupling. I also wanted a sprayer that delivered the majority of spray onto the vines rather than into the atmosphere.

I approached Micron Sprayers of Bromyard to see if, between us, we could develop a sprayer that would meet my requirements. Over a period of 6 months, a prototype was created and delivered. I used it successfully and, with very few modifications, I continue to do so. It has three individual fan assisted spray nozzles. These can work independently and can be directed specifically at a spray area. As the canopy on Scott Henry is not too dense, the fairly light weight fans are able to provide sufficient movement to enable the spray to penetrate the canopy.

Sprayer machine
Production

Production

 

2005

2006

2007

 

Phoenix

Phoenix

Madeleine

Phoenix

Madeleine

Reichensteiner

Vines Producing

50

400

150

450

150

312

Weight Picked

237 Kg

2190Kg

513Kg

1527Kg

664Kg

1330Kg

Bottles Produced

198

1912

532

Blended
1998 

577

Blended

We take our grapes to Three Choirs Vineyards Ltd in Newent, Glos, who make the wine for us. Harvest time is one of the most nail biting and rewarding of times. We are extremely lucky to have a group of friends who come and help pick. This year for the first time we held a “pickers” supper in January and we managed to sit 26 people in our house as a celebration of the harvest and a big thank you.

Sales

This year is our first year of selling our wine. This is a new concept for us and we have found it both very challenging and a little frustrating. We have undertaken wine tasting, attended business evenings and given talks to local organisations. The local press ran a “Life Style” article on us and we are about to be mentioned in our local Parish magazine. We opened the vineyard for the first time to visitors during English Wine Week at the end of May. In addition to now opening on a Saturday for vineyard visitors, we also welcome wine buyers between 10.00am and 5.30pm other days except Sundays when we are open between 11.00am and 4.00pm.

One of the most rewarding aspects of having a vineyard is when we get visits from people considering planting a vineyard. It is interesting to hear how they get on and whether their aspirations change after a visit to us.

Red tape
The new vintage has arrived!

Red Tape

It is a good thing that vineyard creation takes a number of years. Each year has produced its own challenges with regards to meeting the specific requirements of the industry. The plus side is the relief/satisfaction obtained when another hurdle has been cleared successfully. I have found the changes in legislation concerning guarantee requirements for payment of duty and the discrepancy in the ability to claim a personal allowance in the first year, not allowed for wine producers but allowed for cider makers, particularly challenging.

Conclusion

Rose Bank Vineyard is up and running. The hard work is balanced by the sceptical wine taster firstly being surprised by the existence of a vineyard in Fernhill Heath and then, on tasting the wine, stating “this is rather nice” in a surprised voice before buying a bottle.
Having worked in an office all my working life, I enjoy being outside tackling the challenges the year brings to the vineyard. What is retirement?

.

In the 2008 UKVA competition, Rose Bank Phoenix 2007 was awarded a Bronze medal, while the Madeleine Angevine 2007 and Fern Hill 2007 were both Highly Commended

In the 2009 UKVA competition, both the Fern Hill 2008 and the Phonenix 2008 were awarded Bronze medals. The Fernhill 2007 was Highly Commended again.

Madeleine Angevine - Highly commended UKVA 2008 competition

Current Wines
Madeleine Angevine 2009 Single variety white still wine. Dry and crisp ideal for accompanying food. Silver medal winner in the UKVA national competition (June 2010)
Phoenix 2009 Single variety white still wine. Dry and fruity an excellent wine to drink on its own. Bronze medal winner in the UKVA national competition (June 2010)
Fern Hill 2008 A medium/dry blended still white. The blend of Reichensteiner and Madeleine Angevine combine to produce a beautifully balanced social wine. Bronze medal winner in the UKVA national competition (June 2009)
Reichensteiner 2009 A brand new single variety still white wine. Produced to meet the demand for a medium/sweet wine. Silver medal winner in the UKVA national competition (June 2010)
Regent Rose 2009 A beautiful red coloured still wine. This single variety is medium/dry with a hint of strawberries. Bronze medal winner in the UKVA national competition (June 2010)
Phoenix Sparkling 2007 Brut dry sparkling white wine made from a single variety grape capturing the fruity characteristics within the dry, sparkling wine  

A history of our labels and awards

Undated
Phoenix original undatedMadeleine Angevine undated
2006
Phoenix - Bronze medal UKVA 2008 competition
Rose Bank Phoenix 2006
Bronze medal UKVA 2008  

 




   
2007
 
Madeleine Angevine 2007
Highly commended UKVA 2008
Fern Hill 2007
Highly commended UKVA 2008
Highly commended UKVA 2009
Phoenix Sparkling Brut 2007
2008
Phoenix label

Bronze Medal UKVA 2009

Madeliene Angevin label
Fern Hill label
Bronze medal UKVA 2009
Regent Rose label
 
2009
Phoeniz 2009
Bronze medal UKVA 2010
Madeleine Angevine 2009
Silver medal UKVA 2010
Fern Hill 2009
Regent Rose 2009
Bronze medal UKVA 2010
Reichensteiner 2009
Silver medal UKVA 2010

 

(Regional status is granted to wines that equal or surpass defined regional quality standards)

     
  Bottle store  
     

 

For any of the below, please
Either telephone 01905 451439
Or e-mail winesales@rosebankvineyard.co.uk

Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting

Maximum tour number - 50 people
Cost £5 per person
Visit to commence no later than 5.45pm
Walk through the vineyard
Descriptive talk on the vineyard's history
Questions encouraged
Free time to explore at leisure
Wine tasting of the award winning wines
Wine purchase
Care must be taken in the vineyard re trellis wire, uneven ground etc

A LITTLE EXTRA - either
A sumptuous cream tea, cakes etc
Cost £5 per person, payable in advance of the visit
Maximum number - 26 people
Larger groups will need to be split into two sittings
Tea served at Dilmore House B&B, opposite the vineyard
Wash room facilities available at the B&B

OR
Choose from two buffet menus
Cost £10 or £15 per person, payable in advance of the visit
Maximum number - 26 people
Larger groups will need to be split into two sittings
Buy your chilled wine at the vineyard and enjoy it with your buffet
Buffet served at Dilmore House B&B, opposite the vineyard
Wash room facilities available at the B&B

History of Rose Bank Vineyard Talk (1 to 1.5 hours)

 

Talk at your premises at a time of your choosing
Cost £10 - includes 1 bottle of wine for mid-talk tasting
Plus travel cost if venue over 10 miles from the vineyard
Wine tasting can be included for the cost of the wine
Questions encouraged to make the event light hearted

 


Direct from the vineyard
247 Droitwich Road, Fernhill Heath, Nr Worcester WR3 7UH
Tel 01905 451439
(see Vineyard Location tab above)
  • Open for visits the last 2/3 Saturdays in a month from 0900 to 1730
  • (The VINEYARD OPEN "A" frame will be on display on the A38)
    – Please telephone to confirm if travelling some distance
  • Open for sales by prior appointment only on Monday to Friday  1000 to 1730
    - Please telephone with order and time of collection or to arrange delivery (a charge may apply)
Mail Order (UK Mainland only)

Please e-mail your requirements and we will confirm price.
Cleared cheques or BACS payment required before dispatch.
Wines cannot be insured and so delivery will be at your risk
.

winesales@rosebankvineyard.co.uk


Farmer's Markets

We hope to be regular stall holders at the following Farmer's Markets where you will have the opportunity to sample our wines:-

  • 1st Saturday in the month – Droitwich, Victoria Square
  • 2nd Saturday in the month – Bromsgrove, High Street
Other Outlets

  • Gwillam Farm Shop, Ombersley Road, Claines, Nr Worcester
    tel: 01905 756490
  • Hiller’s Farm Shop, Dunnington Heath Farm, Alcester B49 5PD
    tel 01789 773057
  • St Peter's Garden Centre, Pear Tree Farm, Norton, Worcester WR5 2NY
  • Bransford Garage & Deli, Bransford WR6 5JB
  • Stables Farm Shop, Astwood Bank, Redditch B96 6PS
  • Hamps, The Fold, Bransford WR6 5JB
  • Red Lion Inn, Stiffords Bridge, Cradley, Malvern WR13 5NN
  • Trinity Newsagents, 4 The Trinity, Worcester WR1 2PN
  • The Village Shop, Feckenham
  • The Hop Pocket Wine, Bishops Frome
  • Supershop, Droitwich Road, Fernhill Heath
  • The Pantry, Peopleton, nr Pershore
  • Avoncroft Museum Tea Room, Bromsgrove
  • Nono's Charcuterie, 11 Church Street, Alcester B49 5AH


Rose Bank Vineyard
Bredon, 247 Droitwich Road
Fernhill Heath
Worcester WR3 7UH
email address: winesales@rosebankvineyard.co.uk

Medal winning Phoenix

Directions from M5
Click and Enter WR3 7UH in AA map finder
  • Leave M5 at junction 6 (Worcester North)
  • Take A449 towards Kidderminster (dual carriageway)
  • Take first junction signposted to Blackpole (don’t go into the lay-by prior to this junction)
  • At “T” junction turn right.
  • Stay on this road until next “T” junction, you are now in Fernhill Heath.
  • You should have the White Hart pub on your left at this junction.
  • Turn left (A38) towards Worcester.
  • After about 300 yards the houses on your left give way to 2 fields with a brick bus stop in a lay-by in front of them.
  • 247 is the first house on the left, behind a leylandi hedge, after the fields.
NOTE : If you pass under any bridges you have gone too far.

Local food advisor listing


Simon Day
- Vineyard Consultant


Jonathan Hobson
- Photography

Timorousbeasties
Timorous Beasties - Designer

Dilmore House B&B
Dilmore House


A welcoming and comfortable B&B with a sumptuous breakfast
254 Droitwich Road

 

Rose Bank Vineyard, 247 Droitwich Road, Fernhill Heath, Worcester WR3 7UH - phone 01905 451439
email winesales@rosebankvineyard.co.uk

We have been recommended on Local Food Advisor UK & Ireland