Appeal for grapes for community wine project

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Appeal for grapes for community wine project Appeal for grapes for community wine project

Chingford could be set to challenge the famous wine regions of the world with its own distinctive vintage.

Food co-operative Organiclea is to produce its first batch of wine when 450 vines, planted four years ago on a quarter-acre site in Hawkwood Crescent, are ready to harvest.
  
While the area is not renowned for producing fine wine, it has a degree of historical pedigree and the vineyard could produce up to 1,000 bottles a year.

Organiclea winemaker Marko Bojcun said: “The only reference I know to wine being made in the borough is Samuel Pepys referring to a very good wine that he drank from Walthamstow.”

“People do make their own home made wine but we’re the first vineyard of any proportion with our own winery that I know of.”

Both red and white wines will be produced and are expected to go on sale this time next year.

To celebrate the harvest, a scheme has also been launched offering gardeners and allotment holders the chance to have a wine made using their own produce.

The winery will next month take grapes from producers, divide them into two separate batches to make red and white wine and then return the finished product for £5 per bottle.

With a minimum contribution of seven kilograms, or one large bucketful of ripe, clean grapes, around five bottles of wine can be produced.

The day on which grapes are to be delivered to the winery will depend on how grapes are ripening in London, but will most likely be either September 21 or 29.

“There are lots of households in London who have a grape vine growing in their garden or on an allotment,” Mr Bojcun said.

“We are offering people an opportunity to have a few bottles of good table wine from their own grapes.”

To join the scheme contact Mr Bojcun on mbojcun@yahoo.com.

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