On Wednesday 29 June, we headed out for our second Cultiv8 visit of the month for a Wine and Cheese evening at The Rutland Vineyard. If you don’t know much about Cultiv8, it is our networking and knowledge exchange group for people working in and around agriculture and horticulture, holding a series of events throughout the year (you can sign up to our mailing list to find out what we have got coming up by clicking here).
The wine side of the evening was led by Tim Beaver and his wife, Zoe. Tim introduced us to the vineyard, his background and then we headed down through the vines with a glass of their English prosecco in hand to find out more.
It was great to hear about their journey, challenges and the sheer level of work it has taken over the last year to get the vineyard up and running. Tim spoke about the benefits of their Jurassic limestone soil, the planting process (13,100 vines planted in one day!) and what the future looks like for the English wine sector. The team have worked hard to create a kind of ‘destination vineyard’, converting an old cattle shed into a café selling wine, coffee and cake as well as a footpath that travels around the entire vineyard. The sense of community is also clear with a large amount of fundraising for local charities and personalised name tags at the end of the rows.
We then headed back to the barn where we were greeted by a couple more tasters of their range and then Alison from Whyte Wytch Cheese took over. Alison explained her background, the cheese-making process and then we had the chance to taste her unpasteurised, soft bloomy white rind cheese which went down a treat!
We rounded off the evening with several questions for both Tim, Zoe and Alison and plenty of time to buy some bottles of wines and boxes of cheese to take home – the perfect pairing.
Thank you very much to Tim, Zoe and Alison for a fantastic evening and to everyone that came along.