Frithsden Vineyard had been out of use for several years when Simon and Natalie Tooley discovered the site in 2005.
Simon Tooley, a BBC cameraman with a passion for wine and his wife Natalie, a fashion designer discovered the vineyard on a map and decided to go and explore. They were four years too late as there were no vines left there. They thought it would be a good opportunity to get it going again and a year later they bought the place.
The disused vineyard was bought in 2006. A month later, after lots of research, 6000 vines were planted on the site.
The vines are unusual varieties that are specially developed to grow in our cooler climate.
Our wine is grown, pressed and bottled in our winery building.
We pick the grapes by hand in September and October. The wine is then bottled in March or April.
The vineyard is planted with Solaris, Rondo and Phoenix vines.
Solaris - The vineyard is mainly planted with Solaris. This variety is quite new and was only released for planting in 2005. This grape is a crossing of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat Ottonel, Zaraya Severa and Seyval Blanc. It ripens very early with high potential alcohol.
Rondo - Rondo is the red grape variety we grow at Frithsden. It shares the same 'mother' as Solaris; Zarya Severa. This grape was crossed with an Austrian variety, Sankt Laurent. The Rondo grapes are picked in early October and pressed with minimal skin contact to produce rosé wine.
Phoenix - This variety is a crossing with the Bacchus grape, which is found in many English vineyards. It ripens mid October and produces a light Sauvignon style wine.
All our vines that we grow at Frithsden are disease resistant and need minimal spraying with pesticides and fungicides.
The Vineyard shop & café
Our vineyard shop opened in 2009 selling our excellent wine and other gift items.
The shop and café are now closed.