A very vine season for Halfpenny Green

The levels of sugar in this year's grape harvest are the highest since 1983

Local wine lovers are in for a treat this year, as the owner of one vineyard near Sedgley has reported the highest levels of sugar in the grape harvest since his business began.

Martin Vickers, owner of Halfpenny Green Vineyard, near Bobbington, South Staffordshire, says an early winter followed by an early spring, a mainly dry summer and the current Indian summer has had a “cumulative” influence on the crop.

And, as a result, the award-winning vineyard could soon be producing full-bodied wines with an alcohol level as high as 15 per cent, meaning local grape gurus could soon be enjoying a red wine comparable with some of the best European varieties.

Martin, who has owned Halfpenny Green Vineyard since 1983, explains: “At 15 per cent, we hope we have the intensity and colour of a full-bodied red wine which seemed beyond us in other seasons.”

English wine has come a long way from its previously questionable reputation and is now becoming increasingly popular, especially after winning international competitions against its French rivals.

Martin also feels increased demand for local produce has also been a strong factor in the continued success of his wines, which include dry whites such as Tom Hill and Long Acre, the medium dry white Penny Black and its darker counterpart, Penny Red, along with Black Country Gold and a refreshing Red Sparkling.

Visit the Halfpenny Green Vineyard website or call 01384 221122 for more information.

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