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Devon manor to launch vineyard

Published:  14 March, 2018

Lympstone Manor has revealed plans to plant a vineyard within its 28-acre estate.

Planting of the vines is due to start next month (April) - approximately 18,000 vines are set to be grown at the manor to produce classic champagne-method sparkling wines, with the release of the first batch of Lympstone Manor Cuvee expected in October 2023.

Situated on the East Devon Exe estuary, the microclimate at the site was particularly suited to growing grapes, falling within the top 5% in the entire country, putting it on par with some of the best sparkling wine producers in the UK, said owner and renowned chef, Michael Caines, adding since viewing the property in July 2014 his intention had been to establish a vineyard on the site.

“The great vineyards of Europe are all located on rivers, the Médoc châteaux of Bordeaux on the Gironde, wine estates along Rhône, Loire, and Rhine rivers, the great port vineyards of the Douro so why not the Exe estuary - our climate is mild, and the success of other local vineyards has convinced me that it will be possible to produce outstanding wines here,” he said.

The aim was to also create still wines in the future, he added.

Opened by Caines in April 2017, Lympstone Manor is a luxury country house with a strong focus on fine wine, featuring two basement cellars comprising of 600 bins, as well as a wine tasting and dispense room.

The tasting room houses wine storage cabinets alongside a state-of-the-art WineEmotion dispense system for 24 wines by the glass. There is also a sommeliers table where small groups can enjoy a bespoke wine tasting experience led by head sommelier, Marko Mägi.

 A programme of new events is set to be introduced throughout this year, including a three- day ‘Festival of Vine Planting’ in April.

James Matyear, who previously worked for English sparkling wine producer Hattingley Valley following his viticulture studies at Plumpton College, has joined the Lympstone Manor team as vineyard and grounds manager. He will be overseeing the project alongside Caines and operations director, Steve Edwards.