Volunteers gathered at Forty Hall Organic Farm in Enfield to plant the first acre of a groundbreaking new project – to plant London’s first commercial vineyard since medieval times.
Forty Hall Vineyard is a new social enterprise led by Capel Manor Horticultural College, which is planting fifteen acres of top quality vines in the London Borough of Enfield for the purpose of producing wine for the London market. Forty Hall Vineyard will pick up the tradition of winemaking in England introduced by the Romans, and not seen in London on a commercial scale since the Middle Ages.
Steve Dowbiggin, Chief Executive of Capel Manor College says: “Imagine London’s Mayor toasting the opening of the Olympics with our very own London grown wine in 2012! Our vineyard will produce a range of still and sparkling wines of the highest quality which express the fresh, light and fruity characteristics of the best English wines”.
This is no ordinary commercial venture. The vineyard forms part of a broader educational initiative which seeks to establish Forty Hall Farm in Enfield as a hub of local, organic food production. “Forty Hall Vineyard is a social enterprise with profits returned to the college charity to promote education about sustainable urban agriculture,” says Steve Dowbiggin. “The vineyard will provide educational, volunteering and therapeutic horticulture opportunities to a wide range of local people”.
Background information about English Wine
• There are currently more than 350 vineyards in the UK ranging in size from less than 1 acre to more than 240 acres.
• The English wine market is booming with market growth at around 10% per annum and with demand regularly outstripping supply
• English wine production is set to double in the next five years
• Businesses range from part-time hobbyists to £10m publically quoted companies.
• English wines are now regularly winning awards in International Wine Competitions in blind tastings against Champagne and other leading international brands
For general information about English Wine contact English Wine Producers Tel: 01536 772264 or go to