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Silchester, Hampshire

For Sale | Guide Price £1,750,000



A wonderful opportunity to purchase an established vineyard, winery, lake and pastureland set in beautiful north Hampshire with further potential.

CALLEVA VINEYARD AND WINERY Lot 2 - In total the vineyard extends over 8.10 acres (3.28 ha) with 6.10 acres (2.47 ha) under vine. The vines were planted in May 2019 with the express focus to produce first class English Sparking Wine, Rosé and White Wines from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay and Rondo grape varieties. To pursue wines of excellence and differentiate from other English vineyards, the vineyard owners have embraced an organic production model with organic status confirmed by the Soil Association as at the 1st March 2023. It is anticipated that whilst the average grape production will be 30% less than a traditionally-managed vineyard, the value of the wine will subsequently be greater with a stronger and more positive marketing theme. There are currently approximately 900 vineyards in the UK and only 10% have organic status.

The plan sets out the indicative location of the various varieties across the 81½ numbered rows, laid out from west to east using a metal trellis system. These rows have been specifically orientated and set out to optimise the capture of sunlight and ensure air flow through the vineyard.

The naming of the vineyard and subsequent branding originates from its close proximity to Calleva, a celtic name and the central settlement of the Iron Age tribe of Atrebates. This settlement was later adopted and developed by the Romans in the late first century. The bottle labelling falls on a background of the town wall and the rectiliner street grid that the Romans established in AD 43 as it changed the name of the town to Silchester.

The winery building was constructed in 2021 and provides a flexible space for machinery, wine storage and tasting. The design of the building ensures that there is a section with an eaves height capable of housing large wine tanks. Whilst the first floor tasting room, with associated catering kitchen, provides an excellent space for hosting wine tasting and events. Of particular note is the large balcony on the south-western elevation overlooking the vineyard and lake.

The building also provides a separately accessible employee welfare area with spacious changing rooms, shower and WC facilities, perfect for the labour gangs at busy times of year when pruning and picking operations are underway. Importantly, the winery and vineyard has a separate access in Byes Lane.

CURRENT MANAGEMENT The overall performance of a vineyard and the quality of the grapes that are produced are the result of a complex interaction of soil, climate, rootstock capacity, scion capacity, shoot density and cultural practices. With the vineyard established, the key management emphasis is currently focused on developing the vines. This is mainly achieved by controlling the shoot density, by pruning, and in these formative years sacrificing the grape yields to ensure that the sugars and energy garnered by the leaf canopy are used to develop the trunks and the roots of the vines themselves. With the decision taken to progress to an organic system, it is even more important during the first four/five years not to stress the vines by overcropping. In order to assist the vines, 160 tonnes of organic compost has been spread across the vineyard with a further 2.4 tonnes of organic chicken fertiliser being applied in the spring of both 2022 and 2023.

It is critical that the main works are carried out in a timely and uniform manner across the vineyard. To guarantee efficiency in this regard, a solid working relationship has been established with Ed Mitcham who provides and manages gang of around 10 people up to to six times per year. The 2023 cost for these operations is projected to be approximately £15,000 + VAT. The excellent employee welfare facilities developed within the winery are hugely appreciated and sets the vineyard apart.

FUTURE YIELDS AND WINE PRODUCTION AND FINANCIAL MODELLING With the four years of establishment drawing to an end, the vineyard has been suitably prepared for greater production in the coming years. A wine-making contract has been agreed with Ben Smith of Itasca wines, Crondall (approximately 20 miles away), where the grapes will be blended and wines made. The bottles will be returned to the Calleva winery to be stored until they are ready for drinking. The projected production is summarised in the adjacent table with the grape production reaching its optimum level of 10 to 12 tonnes per annum by Harvest 2026.

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