A glass of Herts: Wareside Wines
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Laura Vickers meets a Ware winemaking duo
Believe it or not, Hertfordshire is home to one of the rarities of the wine world – a winemaking team creating wine in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Husband-and-wife team David and Daphne Briscoe planted vines in Ware in 2006 as a semi-hobby, and in 2008 their friends called to say they’d found another perfect vineyard in Robertson, South Africa. They flew out the next week and fell in love with it.
Now they dedicate half the year to their South African harvest and the other half to Wareside Wines – roughly an acre of Herts vines that produce pinot noir grapes for a joint-venture sparkling wine (with Stanlake Park vineyard in the Thames Valley) and a single-vineyard white wine using their bacchus grapes. David and Daphne get stuck in with both in the vineyard as well as behind the scenes where David runs the viticulture and sales, while Daphne oversees the harvest and manages the accounts. As they are still relatively new to winemaking (considering most producers have generations of experience), the pair have sought advice from winemaking consultants to keep quality high, and this has clearly paid off.
2013 was their best crop by far, and the bacchus – a crisp, fresh white, similar in style to a Sancerre – was released in April, priced at around £12. Pick up a bottle from Village Wines in Ware, or direct from the vineyard. See waresidewines.com or call 01920 468733.