World famous Mersea Island oysters and more than 70 guests, including trade buyers with an interest to list the wines, were two highlights of the launch of the 2010 vintage from West Street Vineyard, Coggeshall.
The wine dinner sampling, held at The Compasses at Pattiswick in Pattiswick, Essex, of the 2010 white and rose and the 2009 sparkling was held to showcase the wines just released for sale, says winemaker Jane Mohan.
She says: “The evening was a huge success. We were pairing my wines with a whole range of local foods, including the world famous oysters from Mersea Island, which worked very well with my white wine.
“We were also able to taste the 2011 white and rose which had been bottled straight from the tank so we could show our guests what we are trying to so with the wines and how we are trying to improve them. The 2011 wines showed beautifully how a very warm September can be really tasted in the wine. There was a lot of excitement and a couple of people from the trade who attended the dinner are interested in taking the wines onto their lists. I sold quite a bit too!”
The white and rose wines have both been awarded Bronze medals at the United Kingdom Vineyard Association (UKVA) wine competition in 2011 but it has not been until now that the wines have been available to drink and to purchase.
The idea of the evening was created by Jono Clark, owner of The Compasses at Pattiswick in Pattiswick, Essex, and Mohan (pictured, above) to celebrate what local producers can offer.
Clark says: “We have run a whole series of well attended wine evenings which have featured some of the world’s leading producers and the time now seems right to have a dinner focused on the vineyard which is right on our doorstep. We are passionate about supporting local producers and we have noticed that food miles, and who knows maybe even wine miles are important to our guests.”
The vineyard established over 30 years ago by local families still living in Coggeshall, had long been neglected and fallen into disrepair when the Mohan family bought the vineyard in 2009. The family had ambitious plans to revitalise and expand a sad corner of Coggeshall with new plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to take advantage of the renaissance in English wine making.
In addition, there is a plan to include an English wine tasting centre which will be the first regional wine centre on a vineyard in the country where there will be over thirty English wines on offer, some of them available by the glass and many from the local area.