Former biological researcher Dr. Hugh Tripp and his wife Hilary planted their very first vines in 1981, shortly after purchasing a half-acre plot of gorgeous Somerset land. Expanding throughout the next decade, the couple developed a cider orchard and added soft-fruit bushes, a winery, shop and semi-underground cellar.
Cider is produced using an old, hand-turned press, and there has been a steady increase in the production of fruit wines and mead, all grown without sprays or chemicals. Avalon now offer over a dozen varieties, from a dry white table wine through to a intensely fruity raspberry liqueur which last year won gold at the ‘Taste of the West’ awards.
The vineyard nestles on a sunny hillside, overlooking the broad Vale of Avalon, and visitors are welcome from 2pm until 6pm, Easter until Christmas. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of the vineyard, or relax on the verandah and enjoy a free tasting. There’s ample recreational area if you want to bring along a picnic.
Avalon Vineyard, East Pennard, Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Tel: 01749 860393 www.pennardorganicwines.co.uk
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First published issue 45 (Summer 2006)
Written by Darryl Bullock
Disclaimer – details correct at time of going to press, but may now have changed. Please make your own checks.