Co-op to make its own English wines

14 May, 2010

The Co-op is venturing into wine production with the first vines being planted on its farm in Gloucestershire.

A white wine made from Ortega will be sold as part of the retailer’s Grown by Us brand, although it will take up to four years before bottles hit the shelves.

The 2.4ha vineyard is being planted at the Co-op Farms site at Down Ampney, near Cirencester, where other products in the range are grown. This will be the first time wine has been included.

“It’s a bit of an experiment but it’s one we are really looking forward to,” said Christine Tacon, Co-op Farms managing director. “The conditions at Down Ampney make it a good location to plant a vineyard, and it should make a great addition to our Grown by Us range.

“The Co-op has an excellent reputation for its wine and, while it will take a lot of patience and an amount of luck, the prospect of adding an English white wine, made from grapes grown on one of our own farms, is very exciting.”?As well as vines, the retailer will plant a wildflower mix to encourage wildlife, especially bees.

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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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