New vineyard for farmland

Harvesting the Future: Barry Lewis and Duncan Mercer of Amber Valley Wines near Wessington pictured in their newly planted vineyard.
Harvesting the Future: Barry Lewis and Duncan Mercer of Amber Valley Wines near Wessington pictured in their newly planted vineyard.

The green hills surrounding Wessington will soon produce a new type of crop with the arrival of a vineyard.

Businessmen Barry Lewis and Duncan Mercer have teamed up to create Amber Valley Wines in Doehole.

The plucky pair braved some of Derbyshire’s worst weather earlier this month – planting some of their 1,500 vines in the snow.

Barry, who lives in Wessington and is a local councillor, said: “We had to use snow shovels to clear the tracks from the vines that we were planting.

“The area is just over an acre in a field that is nearly two acres.”

Barry and his partner are hoping the vines will yield their first bottles of wine next year, but are aware it could take a few years before that vines are mature enough to produce a good crop.

Once ready, they vineyard will produce white and rose wine in both still and sparkling.

“In an exceptional year we hope to produce red wine,” he said.

Barry and Duncan enjoy wine and have each visited the Hunter Valley region of new South Wales, in Australia, which is a major wine producing region.

“That was where I got the idea that I wanted to have my own vineyard,” Barry said.

“I think we will do just fine in Wessington – there are vineyards much further north.

“We must be the second or third vineyard in Derbyshire.”

They are hoping to produce 2,000 bottles of wine a year to start out with and increase that number to 10,000 a year over time.

Further information is available by visiting www.ambervalleywines.co.uk