Laurel Vines Vineyard and Winery
Quality wines from Aike, East Yorkshire
Laurel Vines Vineyard and Winery are a Made in Yorkshire Bronze Member
In 2009 a site was sought which would be suitable for the establishment of a vineyard in Yorkshire. The idea of a vineyard in the cooler climate of Yorkshire was always going to be challenging to say the least, so the right site was imperative. Laurel Farm fitted the bill and so plans were drawn up to develop some of the site as a vineyard.
Surveys of the fields were carried out checking drainage, ph levels and nutrient contents as well as susceptibility to other external factors. The site plan was drawn up aligning the rows north-south to maximise the amount of sunlight, consideration to drainage, wind susceptibility, frost pockets and other such issues where all put into the plan in order to give the vines the best growing conditions that the location would allow.
A development plan was also drawn up and after consultation with Vine suppliers and Agronomists, we concentrated on preparation and Vine selection, again taking into consideration the site location. The site was prepared in the winter of 2010/11 and planting commenced in April 2011 with 2000 vines. Plans for the continued planting in the years to come were drawn up. Currently we have 5000 vines in the ground.
Since the first idea of growing vines in 2009, discussions with other vineyard owners and knowledgeable people within the UK vineyard & wine industry were sought.
Expert advice has been taken and utilised in every step of the vineyard establishment and expansion.
Initially following planting we suffered two years of the worst weather imaginable from winter at -18 Celsius to long periods of rain and flooding in spring into summer. In the year following 2013, the first year of production, following a late start the weather provided a much better growing season and provide us with a good but young wines.
We are continually striving to increase our knowledge through training, education & experience.
We are proud to be making something unique and different
Laurel vines is a low carbon, low environmental impact vineyard with a Winery on site.
We are based in the small hamlet of Aike in East Yorkshire. A very rural location based betwixt the market towns of Beverley and Driffield.
The area of Aike, Driffield is underlain by Cretaceous Chalk but in most places it is so deeply buried beneath glacial deposits that it has no influence on the landscape. The landscape is dominated by deposits of till, boulder clays and glacial lake clays which in most places cover the cretaceous bedrock.
The high Eustatic sea level and warm climate of the Cretaceous period meant a large area of the continents was covered by warm shallow seas, this meant that marine limestone (a rock type that is formed under warm, shallow marine circumstances) was developed. In the North-East of England there is a band of Cretaceous rock that stretches from Hull up to Bridlington. Chalk, a soft porous white limestone, was deposited in the marine environment from the Cretaceous era. Chalk is rich in Calcium Carbonate and alkaline soils often derive from the Cretaceous bedrock. Such soils can produce excellent yields of crop growth (but not for acid loving species) and are the most productive soils in England.
Thus, the soils of the Wold’s are permeable and well structured. They dry rapidly and are cultivable under all differing weather situations. Despite being so well drained, chalk soils and subsoil’s are able to make a good deal of water available to plants as particles of chalk absorb moisture while keeping the soil open.
Wine making is not for the faint hearted or nervous, we started with the intention of growing the vines and grapes and employing a wine maker to produce the wines for us on the site. After discussions with wine makers and vineyard owners a decision was made to learn the skills needed to produce our own wines.
The decision to produce our own wines was easily made but then the magnitude of that decision became reality and the process started, weeks turned into months and then into two years and lots of hard work ensued.
When considering the wine making process we chose to concentrate on white and rosé Still quality wines.
Our first wines from 2013 grapes are now in bottles and we are proud of the results and hope that you will agree.
Ian, Neil, Adrian, Jonathan & Ann.
Professional help, John Sisson Agronomist, Chris & Gillian, Stuart & Elizabeth, Derek Pritchard.
Bata, Vigo & Cherrys of Frodingham.
All with the help of help family, friends and neighbour’s as well as experts, from vine selection to agronomy through to wine making. A huge thank you to all that helped to establish and run Laurel Vines, it is true that without your input and assistance that we would not be in the process of producing English wines, something that I hope we can all be proud of.