The world is going mad for locally produced beers, wines, and spirits.
Say goodbye to hectares and hectares of land for grapes, and hello to a more Good Life attitude to production.
With the price of land higher than ever, and people growing ever more conscious of the environmentally friendly farm-to-fork attitude, producers are sampling exciting new ways to brew and distil within the confines of their own homes.
When you have a bathtub of gin bubbling away in the cellar why would you ever need to leave? Take a look at these examples of some of the UK’s best regional vineyards and distilleries...
The Urban Wine Company – Chateau Tooting
Founded in 2009, the Urban Wine company is a collective that was born out of an idea while two neighbours were drinking a new world wine. They asked why they couldn’t they make wine in London, and Richard and Paul founded Chateau Tooting, or, the Urban Wine Company. So once a year, members of the collective bring grapes they’ve grown across London and have them processed at Bolney Estate, an actual vineyard. In 2013 the collective produced 660 bottles. urbanwineco.co.uk
Forty Hall Vineyard
A social enterprise in north London, Forty Hall is managed by local people and is the first commercial scale vineyard in London since the Middle Ages. The plot is south facing, and the first acre of vines were planted in 2009. Grapes are grown naturally and organically, and the vineyard has produced two single varietal wines – 2015 Ortega and 2015 Bacchus. Both are available to buy for £12.99. fortyhallvineyard.com
Psychopomp Microdistillery, Bristol
A small, independent micro-distillery on St Michael’s Hill in Bristol’s cool Montpelier district, Psychopomp uses small copper pot stills to produce craft distilled gin in small batches. Woden was the first gin they ever produced and is available all year round. It’s a classic London dry with juniper berries, coriander seed, angelica root, cassia bark, fresh grapefruit zest and fennel seed. Best of all, there’s a bar attached to the distillery, so visitors can sample all the gins made on the premises. microdistillery.co.uk
Sacred Microdistillery, Highgate
Based in a north London residential home, this micro-distillery was founded in 2008. For such a small venture, they produce a lot of items - Ian Hart and his partner Hilary Whitney produce nine gins, two vodkas and a range of vermouths and aperitifs. Sacred Gin was awarded a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the alcohol can be purchased in their online store. sacredspiritscompany.com
Bermondsey Distillery – Jensen’s Gin
This is gin that honours the UK’s gin-drinking past; it’s more William Hogarth than Gordons. Jensen’s started when founder Christian Jensen started sampling age-old gin recipes and now, the gin is distilled in small batches using botanicals in a converted railway arch in Bermondsey, south east London. Best of all, you too can sample some of these ancient recipes – pick up a bottle from Selfridges or Fortnum & Mason. bermondseygin.com