Ludlow Vineyard

Ludlow vineyard

This week our blog article is focusing on one of our suppliers: Ludlow Vineyard.

Did you know that Shropshire is one of the top wine producing counties in the UK? I had no idea either until we chanced upon a local wine in the supermarket! It turns out that the weather and soil conditions are ideal for growing grapes and there are a number of successful vineyards across the county.

Being keen to support local whenever we can, we decided to have a look to see if there was a vineyard who could supply us with bottles of wine we could leave as a welcome gift for our guests on their arrival. Of course, this naturally involved taste testing various wines and in the end, we opted for the truly delicious, award winning white wine “Clee Mists” from Ludlow Vineyard.

Ludlow Vineyard, Clee St Margaret

Ludlow Vineyard is situated a stones throw from St Milburga on the outskirts of the village of Clee St Margaret, a five minute drive away. It isn’t open to the public. However, we got the chance to meet the owner and have a look around a couple of weeks ago whilst picking up our latest boxes of supplies.

Mike Hardingham, the friendly owner set up the vineyard over 20 years ago having been inspired living previously near a vineyard in Oxfordshire. On his move to Shropshire, Mike decided to have a go at running and maintaining a vineyard himself and it has been operating ever since.

Set over 2.5 acres and with around 3000 vines in the heart of the rural Shropshire countryside, Ludlow Vineyard is thought to be possibly the highest in the UK at a height of around 200m. Nestled on the lower slopes of the Brown Clee Hills, Titterstone Clee’s Iron Age Hill Fort can be glimpsed through the trees as you wander around the vines and it truly is a picturesque setting.

Mike grows 2 main white grape varieties: Seyval and Solari. A neighbour also has some red grape vines allowing Mike to produce a small amount of rosé wine each year as well as his renowned, award-winning white wine.

Mike also has some help maintaining the area in the form of a neighbouring farmer’s sheep who graze between the vines to keep the grass and weeds under control and naturally fertilise the ground! At picking time, Mike is aided by numerous friends and volunteers who come to make a day of it, helping Mike bring in the harvest and enjoy well-earned drinks and cake afterwards. The grape harvest is sent to a place in Herefordshire to be processed, fermented and bottled before being boxed up and sent back to Mike for distribution.

And what is it like? English wine has had the not unfair reputation of being overpriced and underwhelming. One sip of this wine will hopefully change your mind – it did ours! It’s dry, fruity and refreshing and just the tipple for sipping under the warm summer sun. Easy enough to drink on its own but also makes a great pairing with food.

So, if all this has made you want to try some of the wine for yourself, where can you get your hands on some? Well, you could book a stay at St Milburga Chapel and try some for free! Otherwise, Mike also supplies Ludlow Farm Shop which is probably the easiest place to go to get your hands on a couple of bottles if not staying with us.

For further information please visit their website at: