Invited guests and English wine enthusaists joined Jan Mohan (pictured) of Essex grower West Street Vineyard in Coggeshall to celebrated its new custom built wine visitor and education centre with an Anglo-German topping out ceremony. The event, which took place only four days after the pre-fabricated build began, means that in the Spring of 2013 visitors will be able to learn about and enjoy wines from the East Anglian region with a coffee or lunch.
The innovative, eco-friendly timber building was manufactured in Bavaria and assembled by Hanse Haus from Germany; it is their first commercial building in the UK. It is situated within this boutique vineyard in the historic village of Coggeshall in North Essex. British architect Snell David designed the New World style building and Seamans Builders from Bury St Edmunds have been the lead contractors co-ordinating the overall project build, fit out and construction of the large tasting cellar which will be an important part of the visitor experience.
Centre for English wine
The new barn will become a centre for English wine tourism and an established visitor attraction for Essex and the East Anglian Region when it officially opens in the spring of 2013 and will include a café and an automated wine tasting wall to showcase wines from East Anglia and across England with over 20 English still and sparkling wines offered, including the award-winning West Street wines.
The topping out ceremony – a tradition in many countries, including the building’s native Germany – was in the presence of invited guests: Priti Patel, MP, John Jowers from Essex County Council and other local Councillors and VIPs who have supported this project from its inception. Francis and Sue Nichols who first planted the vineyard over thirty years ago were in attendance and Ulrich Hoffmann, who is the winemaker for the West Street wines.
Jane and Stephen Mohan purchased the vineyard in May 2009, and Jane commented: “It was our ambition to provide visitors with an environment in which to relax, learn about and taste the variety and complexity of English wines with their friends and families. English wines are special and over the last few years have become world beaters, yet few of us have had the opportunity to try them it is now our plan to change this.”