Silver Medal for Local Vineyard
Kingfishers’ Pool Vineyard has won two medals in the prestigious United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA) competition, which is the only national competition for English and Welsh wine.
The still dry white wine made from Siegerrebe and Solaris grapes, called King Richard, won a silver medal. This wine is made in the boutique winery at the vineyard in Rothley.
The pink sparkling wine, Spirit of Freedom, made from Orion, Siegerrebe, Regent and Pinot precose grapes, won a bronze medal. This was made from the Rothley grapes, which were sent to Halfpenny Green Vineyard in Staffordshire who have considerable experience in the complex process of making sparkling wine by the traditional method (methodè champenoise) using disgorgement which takes two years. >
Vineyard proprietor, Liz Robson, said “This is the first time I had entered a wine completely grown, produced and bottled by myself into a national competition, and when I saw the results and the words “silver medal” I had to read the text several times before I could believe it. Spirit of Freedom had already attained commended in the International Wine Competition so the bronze was not a surprise. When I scrutinised the results further and realised that ours was the only Leicestershire vineyard to have won any medal I was ‘over the moon! What had started as a hobby has now become true artisan winemaking.”
Liz retired last July from her full time position as principal lecturer in midwifery at De Montfort University to devote more time to the vineyard, which started as a hobby in 2008. She is enthusiastic about local history which is apparent in the names of the wines. King Richard is probably obvious. Spirit of Freedom is named for William Wilberforce who stayed frequently at Rothley Temple (now Rothley Court Hotel) with his university friend Thomas Babington and drafted the act of parliament to abolish the slave trade there. There is a history section on the vineyard website www.rothleywine.com which explains further.
The vineyard is small, but determined to succeed in producing fine quality wines with a distinctive Leicestershire identity. The vineyard’s four wines are sold under its company name of Rothley Wine Ltd and can be purchased from a number of local retailers, wine bars and at Ragdale Hall. At the moment the vineyard is not open to the public, but this may change next year once a toilet has been built.