Gravesham to get a new vineyard, and it's big!

Luddesdown village is the proud new host of a 300 to 400 acre, wine producing vineyard on the ex Court and Brookers Organic Farm site.

Last night I was delighted to attend an information event at the Golden Lion in Luddesdown, where the new owners, Holly and Neil Dewale unveiled their plans for this exciting development. Holly's father is a big wine producer in the south of France and he is supporting Holly and Neil on this venture, to create a new organic vineyard on the wonderful south facing slopes of the valley around Luddesdown.

Planting of the young vines (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) will start in April, harvest in 3 years time, with sales of sparkling wine at the door of the vineyard in 2022. There will be lots of community involvement in helping to make this a success, particularly at harvest time when everything will be done by hand.

Gravesham already has small scale vineyards, such as the 25 acre Meopham Valley Vineyard and a few acres in the mainly apple orchards of Adrian Scripps farm in Cobham. So to put this into perspective, 300 to 400 acres of planted vines is huge by UK standards, it would put Luddesdown and Gravesham in the premier league on size, largest in Kent and England (according to http://www.englishwine.com/vineyards.htm).

Let's wish Holly and Neil every success. Then we can celebrate over a glass of sparkling wine, with Gravesham as one of the biggest wine producers in the country!

Tony Rice
Candidate for Shorne Cobham & Luddesdown