Quoins is a small, family run vineyard, tucked away on the edge of the Cotswolds, near the World Heritage city of Bath. We produce just 3000 bottles a year of our award winning single variety wines.
The vineyard is one of only 6 organic vineyards in the UK, certified by the Soil Association. No inorganic fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides are used, and the area is a haven for wildlife. The wine production process is certified organic, too, with additives, such as sulphites, tightly controlled.
You can buy the wines directly from the vineyard, from local shops or via the internet.
I shall be offering a wine tasting evening at the Dog and Fox pub on the Ashley Rd Bradford on Avon BA15 1RT ( www.dogandfoxinn.co.uk ) where you can hear all about the UK wine industry and how Quoins has deleoped the organic approach to producing award winning wines. Naturally you will get a chance to try the full range of the wines including a blind tasting. Wines are available from the bar as well as retail.
Harvest and things
We finished off the season with a flurry of hen parties (see the photo from Rachel) which were blessed with excellent weather so we could sit in the sun and have the picnics. I think everyone has enjoyed the tours with 11 groups visiting. Looking forward to starting up again in April so book now.
In August the vineyard became fully certified as biodynamic by Demeter. I won’t go into the finer details of this as it is better described by the Demeter website ( www.biodynamic.org.uk ). Best to summarise in that I aim to be fully self sufficient in production on the land itself and to maintain the natural cycles and the microflora in the soil and vegetation by not using chemical products.
We started the harvest last week with sales to the Organic and Biodynamic winery at Sedlescombe. I have decided to sell the Madeleine angevine and the Rondo grapes this year but will contract the production of more Orion wine. This will keep a good range of the wines in stock.
Fruit tours, tasting and sales: Sunday 23 August 1-5pm.
We are holding a fruit open day, at which you can explore our range of over one hundred fruit and nut trees, and taste and buy fruit in season. Tours every hour. As well as a range of apples, pears, plums etc, we also have unusual fruits, like Asian pears and edible honeysuckle. You can see the list of trees and fruits on the unusual fruit page. All proceeds to SolarAid. Entry by donation.
Yes it has happened again!. The Orion 2013 has been awarded a silver medal by the UKVA in its annual UK competition. This goes to show that the organic approach does give excellent quality. There were 327 wines entered in the competition with only 78 vineyards being awarded gold or silver awards. The Orion wine has been a consistent award winner in recent years. If you are interested in buying then do hurry as there are only 420 bottles left
We had a great day celebrating the English Wine Week with over 50 people turning up for a free tour and a chance to sample all our wines. The weather suddenly improved with the sun coming out on the dot of midday. When setting things up I did have a surprise when I moved a traffic bollard that stays at the end of the vine lines and found a perfectly formed birds nest with 6 small eggs in it.
I did 4 tours of the vineyard and orchard explaining what all the different trees were. People would have to return later in the summer to try all the fruit. The wine was appreciated as we did do a lot of sales. I’m trying to get more local outlets to stock Quoins wines so when you do go in to any wine store ask specifically for local wines when buying.
Meanwhile back in the vineyard the Rondo is now in full flower and the Madeleine angevine is just about to as long as we get some sunny weather in the coming week. Once again the birds have devoured all but one cherry from the 3 trees that we have. I really must remember to net the trees next year.
Yet again Quoins Vineyard has won a major award. This time we have won a Decanter World Wine bronze award for the 2013 Orion white wine. Now in its 12th year, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. Judged by the top wine experts from around the globe, the DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process. see www.decanter.com for more details
Don’t forget you can all come and sample this wine and more at our open day on the 31st May.
The first open day is planned for Sunday 31st May 12th noon till 4:30pm.
The vineyard will be open free to the general public to come in and taste the wines, join a guided tour of the vineyard and have the opportunity to buy the wines at farm gate prices. This is during English Wine Week when the 475 vineyards in the UK will be celebrating the joys of English wine. There are over 1300ha.s of vineyards now planted in the UK and our wines are firmly established on the international scene.
We have plans for more open days through the summer so keep an eye open on this website
22/3/2015 First group of the season
The season has well and truly started with the first hen party of the season. 20 of us going through the old and new vintages around a blazing campfire/BBQ. Interesting to hear that the preferred wine of the afternoon was the Madeleine angevine 2013 rather than the Orion favoured by Waitrose.
Quoins also had a stall at the successful ‘Local Larder’ open day last week in Bradford on Avon where there were over 20 stalls of locally produced food and drink available for restauranteurs, hoteliers and farm shop owners to sample. Later on the event was open to the public. We made a lot of new contacts through the day and so I trust you will find our wines available at a few more local outlets this summer. Don’t forget to ask for local produce when out wining and dining!!
Pruning finished today
10/2/2015 Some progress in the cold
The cold and frosty mornings are great for getting to grips with the pruning and we have been getting a number of them recently. Just plug in the MP3 and away we go. Just about finished the Madeleine angevine and the Rondo with the Orion to go so I should be finished by the end of February.
I attended an interesting day workshop recently on Vineyard Tourism (organised by the UKVA) which came up with some new ideas which will enhance the tours we offer. Meanwhile the bookings for tours and Hen parties are starting to come in as people start to look forward to those warm spring and summer days. So if you are minded give me a call
16/12/14 Back home to the pruning
Well its good to be back after an extended walking holiday in Greece. From May to November we walked the length of Greece from the Prespa Lakes in the north to the seashore in Kalamata. Jane will be writing it all up on a blog which will be posted soon. It was strange to be walking around glacial lakes in the Gramos Mts when most tourists are on the beaches. One thing though is to watch out for those packs of guard sheep dogs.
So the summer was perfect here for wine production with a record harvest delivered! and the quality was there too. We delivered just about 6 tonnes of grapes to Roy Cook at Sedlescombe Organic winery in Sussex again this year. The 2013 wines that he made for us are excellent and I will be entering them into the UKVA national competition next year. They are all on sale now.
I had the annual Soil Association Inspection today and passed no problem. This is what he says
‘A well managed vineyard – organic principles, philosophy and integrity to the highest standards !!!
6/1/14 Summer Holidays
Just to let you all know but I shall be taking a few months off next summer so we won’t be able to organise any open days/tour groups/hen parties for next summer apart from those already booked for April and early May. The wine will still be available though from the usual outlets (Waitrose stores and Waitrose Direct, Riverford Organics, The Coop and Budgens in Bradford on Avon and Hartley Farm Shop).
29/11/13 The harvest is in
We had a bumper crop of 5,700 kg of grapes which is the equivalent of 9 tonnes/ha and should give us in excess of 4,000 bottles of wine. The Rondo did exceptionally well. The grapes are now being processed by Roy Cook at Sedlescombe Organic Winery as Mumfords are now scaling down their operations. Many thanks to Tony for his care and attention in making our wine right from the beginning. Roy has been making organic registered wine for years and is one of the first grower/processors in the country who I went to for advice before planting Quoins vineyard.
We have now released the 2009 Rondo red which is currently available at local stores. I tried it out on a recent tour group of French vineyard owners and even they gave it a 5/10 !!! .
We had our annual Soil Association inspection this week and passed with flying colours
Better than last year
The crop is looking so much better than last year with no disease problems at the moment. I am now using my new toy.. it is a mower specially adapted to shoot the mowings from the rows into the lines of vines to act as a mulch which will serve as a weed suppressant and maintain moisture levels.
Please note that we will be having an extra open day in September on the 22nd Sept when all the other fruits will be ready for tasting. The next open day will be Sunday 1st Sept
More acclaim from UKVA Awards
Yet again the Quoins Orion wine has been awarded a UKVA Silver award. This was for the 2011 vintage and was selected at a blind tasting of 189 UK wines. This is the 6 consecutive year that we have won an award for our wines. Now that is consistency for you!.
We have been hosting more tour groups and parties since the last update and we have a photo to show for it. Have a look. There are still some dates free except for September. With the long summer evenings it is a great thing to do after work for the office outing. Supper can be provided.
The flowering has just started and with a week or two of fine weather we should be expecting a good harvest.
Still that raw chill to the air but at least the buds are bursting forth with the Rondo showing the first leaf. The dandelions are in good shape though!. We had the first of the open days on the 5th May with good weather and a good crowd. We have also had another large group of Americans based in Cambridge who had a morning in Bath followed by an afternoon tasting and learning about wine in the UK. They were divided between the Orion 2011 and the Orion 2005 in the blind tasting. I now only have 1 bottle of the 2005 Orion left. Perhaps I should put it up for auction.
Quoins was represented at the annual English Wine Producers Trade show last week held in the rather grand Great Hall off of Parliament Square. We had lots of good comments and a few orders as well to London outlets. The Waitrose store in Oxford St. will now be stocking the wine.
The next open day will be on the 2nd June which is part of the English Wine Week
The 2013 season has started
Yes I saw the first swallow yesterday!
Last week we had the first tour and tasting of the season by 40 or so OAPs from Warwickshire. They all behaved well and during the blind tasting they did in fact prefer the newly released 2011 Orion as opposed to the 2005 Orion. We have some more tour groups booked for May as well as the first public open day on Sunday 5th May at 3pm (£5/pp) so I hope you can make it.
The Orion, Madeleine and Rose will all be available for sale through Waitrose this year as well as at the local stores
Review of the year
A somewhat mixed year but at least we did pick a reasonable crop of Orion and some Rondo. Unfortunately the Madeleine angevine didn’t come to anything. Not to worry though as we do have reasonable stocks down in the cellar so keep those orders coming in. The open days were a great success and we will continue them probably on the first Sunday of each month starting in May. What has been great fun is the tour groups who have booked a talk, tour and tasting of the wines. We have had Hen parties (mostly well behaved and did you know Bath is the Hen Party Capital of the UK) and even a pub outing from Bristol who came in a coach that couldn’t get up the lane. Hartley Farm Cafe have done excellent service in supplying gourmet picnics as required. So if you want to have an office tour or similar then give me a call or drop me an email.
Now its back to the pruning in the cold January days…..
Even the French are interested in Quoins Organic Vineyard
We had a visit from ‘Le Point’ magazine who have done a survey of the French vine growing regions and decided to include the increasingly popular English wines. Obviously they came straight to Quoins Organic Vineyard to learn and taste and have written a very positive review especially with regards to the organic production approach to vineyard management. Read all about it here if your french is up to it GB-LePoint-sept2012
Stop Press: Silver Award for the Orion 2010
Quoins Vineyard has yet again won a national award from the UK Vineyard Growers Association. This time the Orion 2010 white wine has won a coveted Silver medal from the UKVA. No other certified organic wine achieved this this year. Every year since 2006 the Orion has won an award . Now you can’t beat that for consistency. We are now releasing it for sales and it will be available from all the usual outlets including the Coop and Budgens stores in Bradford on Avon and through Waitrose Direct. Do come and taste it against the other vintages at the next open day on 5th August
The summer is underway and we are now busy with lots of visitors to the vineyard. We have had 3 hen parties and 2 stag do’s plus a birthday group and even a pub outing. All very well behaved and I think everyone learnt something about organic agriculture as well as the range of quality wines that we are now producing in Wiltshire. They also enjoyed the well prepared buffet lunches that Hartley Farm Cafe prepared and delivered.
The Open days remember are the first Sundays of July, August and September plus an extra one on the 23rd September.
Meanwhile work in the vineyard continues with desuckering the unwanted shoots, a bit of disease control and mowing