Vineyard hosts grand opening of new wine centre
PUBLISHED: 07:57 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:57 20 August 2019
Corks were popping as Toppesfield Vineyard marked the opening of its new wine centre.
Vineyard founders, Jane and Peter Moore saw their vision for a stylish, contemporary space become reality after 18 months of hard work by their builder, Derek Mason.
One of the key features of their new centre is a large picture window overlooking the vineyard in which they grow their Bacchus and pinot noir vines.
The wine centre was officially opened on July 13 by Duncan McNeill, one of the UK's leading viticulturists.
Jane and Peter said: "Duncan gave us invaluable advice in the first few years of establishing Toppesfield Vineyard - he provided the technical consultancy which we applied on site - enabling us to do everything right from day one."
Duncan led two tours of the vineyard after the opening ceremony.
He said: "It's nice to think that I have been able to help with the establishment of Toppesfield Vineyard, but it is the work that Jane and Peter have both put into the whole project that gives it the integrity and character that it possesses.
"The wine centre itself is just pure class. They really have contributed to English wine culture. It is a showpiece for English boutique wine".
Mary Mudd, international wine judge, provided attendees at the opening event with a tutored wine tasting experience. She is one of the pioneers of the English wine industry.
Having planted Dedham Vale Vineyard in 1990, her knowledge of growing grapes, making and tasting wines is extensive. Her audience at Toppesfield comprised a number of wine connoisseurs and wine buyers as well as general members of the public.
In addition to tutored tastings of the wines, she also ran a blind 'smell test' of four different alcoholic beverages which proved much more difficult than most participants anticipated.
Jane said: "We are delighted that so many of our local community came to support and enjoy the day, as well as many of our clients, who attended on what would normally be their day off from the wine business.
"It was a great turnout and we hope all who came will spread the word about the quality and success of English wines. Our aim has always been to deliver a top quality experience; the new wine centre provides us with the environment for clients to drink our wines in a beautiful, contemporary space - in full view of the vineyard where our grapes are grown."