by Pru Allison, 1st November 2021
Looking to put local into your wine list this festive season? Herefordshire's Frome Valley Vineyard could be just the place to start looking
The Borderlands are known for many things, but wine doesn’t spring to mind first, which is why it’s always a treat to discover a fantastic tipple from the very environment in which you’re enjoying it. But for Herefordshire’s Frome Valley Vineyard, fine wines are nothing new.
“The vineyard was established around 30 years ago when planting vines was just beginning to become a thing,” explains Jeanie Falconer who runs the vineyard and co-owns it with her husband Ian. “It was very unusual, but not impossible for the enthusiast.”
The pair bought Paunton Court and its vineyard back in 2005 when their predecessors had already planted a three to four acre plot with different varieties, primarily of Germanic origin. “These are the varieties that ripen in our climate and our latitude,” notes Jeanie. “We have replanted some parts and extended other varieties so the vineyard is a bit bigger, but not much. Terroir is everything for our vineyard. It’s on Herefordshire’s clay loam, a fertile and succulent soil, producing tasty and delicious fruit – the mainstay of our wines.”
The vineyard produces both still and sparkling wines, as well as sometimes cider and brandy, and the wine connoisseur herself will admit to a few favourites. “I love our Pinot Noir as an aperitif and I’m also really fond of our Huxelrebe which is a more robust and fuller wine. We also bring out our fizz, made by the Champagne method, at the slightest hint of any celebration!”