GREYFRIARS vineyard has opened a new chalk wine cave, carved out of the side of the Hog’s Back between Farnham and Guildford.
The 18-month excavation and build project has created a 3,500 square foot cellar that will store up to 250,000 bottles of Greyfriars’ award-winning wines.
A huge 9,650 tonnes of chalk was excavated to create the much-needed space for Greyfriars to develop the business as a leading boutique producer of English sparkling wine.
Owners Mike and Hilary Wagstaff, together with David Line, their vineyard manager and brother-in-law and a very small team, grow all their own grapes and make all the wine.
For them the project has been a major financial investment but one which will allow the business to grow.
“The cave provides a cool, dark space with a constant temperature for our maturing wine,” said Mike.
“It was important that the cave was environmentally friendly, that it complimented our existing winery and that it blended into our surroundings as we are situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Solar panels have been fitted on the roof of the cave to provide a significant proportion of the power requirements for Greyfriars’ vinery.
In addition, a living wall on the front of the cave features 3,106 plants that are not only aesthetically pleasing but help keep the front wall of the cave cool.
Construction of the cave has also created a natural amphitheatre over the storage space which has now been fully landscaped and will provide a unique event space with stunning views over the vineyard - which spans 50 acres over three sites with 75,000 vines.
Further plans for development at Greyfriars include a new shop and tasting room.
The cave opening comes on the back of the recent haul of wine awards for Greyfriars. A gold, seven silvers and five bronze were among the awards given in a number of international wine competitions.
For more information visit the website www.greyfriarsvineyard.co.uk or visit the Greyfriars shop, open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm and Saturdays by appointment on the A31 Hogs Back near Puttenham.