The VineYard

OUR VINEYARD

Holy Vale Vineyard Our vineyard was planted in the spring of 2009 after a couple of years trying to beg, borrow or steal redundant farm land on St Mary’s.
With co-operation from the Duchy of Cornwall and local farmers we were able to set about obtaining the land we had found that suited the planting of the vines, mostly sloping and facing south, to aid water drainage and aspect to the sun. These parcels of land are situated in Holy Vale, Maypole, Silver Carn and Helvear. It was not possible to obtain all the land together in one parcel, but that in some respects is an advantage because it will give diversity and different character to the wines.

The soil was analysed and with the help of agronomist John Buchan and vigneron Tim Gowan we set about choosing our root stock that would most suit our soil. We carefully selected rootstock SO4 and nurseries in Burgundy and Luxemburg to nurture the vines of our grape varieties grafted on to our rootstock. 7,000 vines were ordered of our selection, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
These were chosen instead of the normal, mostly German varieties that have traditionally been grown in the UK mainly for climatic reasons. Our choice reflected the commitment and quality that we wish to achieve, rather than quantity. Our resolve is to produce the most special wines, even though working with Pinot Noir is especially difficult. 60% of the vines are Pinot Noir, 5% of which are of an early ripening variety. 30% are Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Gris, often called Pinot Grigio especially in Italy. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay also give us the option to produce sparkling wines of quality.

WINE TASTING

We are now producing, bottling and selling Holy Vale Wines, 2014 was our very first vintage. We offer tours of the vineyard and tastings of our wines at the vineyard, just call us in advance on 01720 420317 or email us at info@star-castle.co.uk to book. The vineyard and winery is open Monday – Friday from 12:00 till 4:30pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank holiday Mondays – open by appointment only.  For more information about visiting the vineyard please click here.
The object of tasting is to give experience in being able to select a grape variety, an area of origin, quality and idea of age. Much experience comes from rationale and by getting it wrong, because we can learn from this and improve our knowledge.
Do not be put off by deductions that reveal something different. In the end what matters is your enjoyment of the wine and the varieties and style of wine making you appreciate the most.

SOIL

Soil is an important factor in the production of wine, especially how well the soil retains water. Clay soil will retain water, free draining soils will not, which means the vines roots will have to search deeper for water and nutrients. How well soil absorbs heat and warms the roots is important and all these factors lead to different characteristics in the wine.
Free draining soil often has a gravel base. Some parts of North-eastern Italy have soils like this where Pinot Gris thrives. This soil prevents the roots becoming waterlogged and the lack of water in this climate helps keep warmth in the roots.