Read all about our recent visit to Biddenden Vineyard courtesy of Shop Floor Assistant, Inneke…
Hooray! Another great perk of working at Macknade… A trip to Biddenden Vineyard!
Eleven of us took part in the visit… Andrea,Beatrice and James from our café, Paul from our Butchery, Mica representing our Deli and Melissa, Natasha and I from the shop floor… plus our team leaders from the office, Rosie and Lucy.
We were very lucky with the weather as it was a glorious sunny evening. On arrival at the vineyard we were warmly greeted by the Biddenden team and, of course (and perhaps most importantly!), our welcome drinks!
Most of us decided to try the Gribble Bridge Sparkling – a wonderfully fragrant and crisp sparkling wine, chilled to perfection. Others in the team sampled Biddenden’s range of juices and the new Red Love cider,which we all agreed was delicious.
With our drinks in hand, we were led by our guide for a stroll around the vineyard, bathing in the beautiful scenery and sunshine. We learned that Biddenden is a single estate vineyard, meaning that their wine is made entirely from grapes owned by the winery and produced from start to finish on the estate. It also means that all the work on the estate is carried out by hand, including all the pruning, canopy management and picking. The harvest, which takes place from mid September to November, is a huge job!
Biddenden grow 11 different grape varieties, planted across 23 acres of south facing slopes on sandy loam over clay in a sheltered valley. This creates the perfect conditions for growing Germanic varieties like Ortega, their signature style. They also grow French vines like Pinot Noir – my favourite – but there are far fewer of these!
We ended our wine tour with further sampling in the winery shop, where we tried the Ortega – a medium fruity white wine with a distinctive fragrance of elderflower – and the Pinot Reserve. It was a fantastic experience meeting the people behind Biddenden (and some of our other producers who were present on the day!) and seeing exactly how and where the products come from.
Now each of us has a little story of our own to impress our friends and customers!
Psst… All of the photos in this post were taken by the very talented Natasha Collins, who also works on our shop floor and has a secret passion for photography!