TWELVE years on from first planting vines as a rather eccentric hobby, the family behind a Devon vineyard at the foot of Dartmoor are gearing up to open their new purpose-built winery, shop and local kitchen.
Despite the delays and challenges of COVID, Alder Vineyard are set to open the doors to their new building in September – and look forward to championing a wide range of Devonshire delights, welcoming visitors to their ‘very own little bit of heaven’.
The vineyard, at Lewdown, is run by a small yet passionate family team of four – founders Sarah and Mike Hodgetts, their son Tom and Tom’s partner, Adam.
With backgrounds and full-time careers in horticulture, construction, sales, design and marketing, they have filled every spare hour tending to the vines and sharing their love of wine at shows across the county. This new expansion marks the next big step for the family as they go full-time in the vineyard with one clear mission – to share a love for wine, far beyond the bottle.
Sarah says: “Surrounded by all the things in life that mean so much to me, from the vineyard to the views over Dartmoor, I can’t wait to welcome everyone to our very own little bit of heaven!” The new winery is also a milestone for the family as they bring all production on-site. Until this year, they had enjoyed growing grapes and worked with their friends at Polgoon Vineyard in Penzance, who made the wine.
Alder Vineyard’s ‘head wine wizard’ Tom, who has been away to wine college and worked with other wineries over the past few years, is now preparing to make their first vintage on-site this year.
He says: “If you’d told me 10 years ago I’d be making wine from our grapes in our shiny new winery, I’d never have believed you.” When the new building opens, the family will be welcoming visitors to browse delicious food and
drink from suppliers across the county, including Papillon gin, Sandford Orchards cider and Little Bakehouse.
Their new kitchen means they can serve up a treat, with a range of local charcuterie and cheese platters plus delicious open sandwiches perfectly paired with a refreshing glass of their wines. As well as being able to tour the new winery, groups of up to 6 people will also be able to explore the vines, which overlook Dartmoor, on COVID safe tours. Plus visitors can experience a fun yet educational wine tasting of Alder Vineyard’s latest vintages.
Mike says: “From jumping into the crazy world of English wine, we have all fallen in love with growing vines, winemaking and of course wine drinking. We can’t wait to share that experience with everyone who comes to visit us.”
Alder Vineyard, Lewdown, Okehampton, Devon, EX20 4PJ
07813 752 805 | firstname.lastname@example.org