Mine’s a wine: Holmfirth Vineyard top of the crops

HOLMFIRTH has long since seen the last of Compo, Clegg and Foggy tramping local roads and lanes.

Holmfirth Vineyard

But there’s still plenty of wine to be found… and not only in the summer.
Thanks to the vision of Ian and Rebecca Sheveling, a small corner of West Yorkshire, made famous by the whimsical BBC TV hit show, is on the map for a strikingly different reason.
Not even a business-interrupting fire at the seven-acre site in the autumn of 2016 has prevented Holmfirth Vineyard going from strength to strength.
The former sheep farm on the slopes of Holme Valley, bought at auction at the Huntsman Inn, produces 10,000 bottles of white and rosé wine each year.
Demand has outstripped supply to such an extent that the couple planted 19,000 new vines at a site at Robin Hood’s Bay on the East coast.
They have certainly branched out since opening their doors for the first time nearly 11 years ago.
With its fine dining restaurant and accommodation for up to 50 guests, the Vineyard has become a popular wedding venue.

Visitors at Holmfirth Vineyard

Now, the striking venue, just a couple of miles outside of Holmfirth centre, is also licenced to host marriage ceremonies.
“We have got everything on site to make it a day to remember,” says Rebecca who definitely hasn’t forgotten the start of their viticulture adventure.
“We didn’t want to farm sheep because we didn’t like the idea of slaughtering the animals.
“But we both liked wine and we had spoken about doing something like this year back.
“Fortunately, when we did our research we discovered the soil was exactly the right type and the slopes were south facing.
“All the vines come from Luxembourg and Belgium and have their own licences.
“Initially, all we planned to do was sell the wine. But people kept knocking on the door asking us if they could look round.
“We were inundated because they couldn’t believe you could grow wine in Yorkshire.
“Then we started to provide tea and scones from the house as visitors wanted refreshments.
“And it just continued to snowball with the winery, a visitors’ café and bar while we engaged a chef and extended the menu.”
However, a major fire in October 2016 halted the success story in its tracks.
“We had ideas to expand and develop the wedding size of the business before the fire,” explained Rebecca.
“But it just brought them forward quicker than we expected.”
The Shevelings successfully sought planning permission for a replacement winery kitchen and new function room and in June 2017 the corks popped as Holmfirth Vineyard re-opened.
For more information on tours, accommodation or weddings visit http://sheveling.com or ring 01484 691861.

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