A Bit About Renegade
An urban winery may seem like a mad idea but bare with us a minute.
London has been a centre of innovation, craft, production and quality food and drinks for a long time. Historically, wine had to be made near the vineyard because the lack of refrigerated transport meant the grapes wouldn't travel well. All this has changed. Bringing fresh grapes from Bordeaux at 2 degrees C doesn't harm them one bit. Many would actually argue this chilled transport can improve them (we'll tell you more about this if you're interested!).
There is also a very big difference between a vineyard and a winery. A vineyard grows grapes and a winery makes wine. These are very different skills. Interlinked for sure, but very very different. If you are a brilliant farmer and rear world leading cattle, it doesn't necessarily mean you can make a world leading beef wellington. The benefit of an urban winery that works with small vineyards is that we can cherry pick the best fruit, grown by the best people.
Vineyards do not always have the best growing seasons year after year. Some years there are frosts, pest issues, hail, disease and other nasty issues. If the winery is attached to the vineyard, you generally have to make wine from these grapes, otherwise they have nothing to sell. We do not have this problem. Just like a chef who can select in season vegetables from the best growers, we can change suppliers and pick the best grapes depending of the weather, regional variances and other external factors.
When we started making wine in 2016 we were copycat winemakers. We asked the growers how we should make wine with their grapes, and we did what they said. This was a mistake. We should't be copying other styles. London should be leading the charge on new wine styles, winemaking approaches and using both ancient and modern techniques.
So in 2017 we changed. Our wines change year on year and we rarely repeat a wine or style. We make around 12-14 wines a year with a total current production of around 28,000 bottles. This may sound like a lot but it's really tiny for a commercial winery. This is one of the main reasons our wines are not cheap. We try to keep them as affordable as possible but we know that they need to be worth the money. This is what we are focused on bringing to our customers. We buy around 50% from the UK and the other 50% from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Portugal and other European countries.
We are not allowed to buy grapes from non-EU countries. Weirdly, it is illegal to make wine in the UK fro grapes that were grown outside the EU.
All of our wines are made in London but we don't try and call all of our wines English. Many are made from non-English grapes. Wine is a funny one vs other food and drink products. If you buy a beer brewed in London, most people would say that was an English beer. Even though the malt was grown in Germany, the hops in the USA and the brewery equipment made in Italy, all brewed by an Swede. Discuss.
If you've any questions, just ask. We are an open book and want to be as transparent and honest as possible. One of the benefits of bringing winemaking into the centre of London is to shown people the process and reality of winemaking.
Come taste some wine or buy online. :)