Midlands winery makes wine with an international feel
Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon, Californian Zinfandel and Italian Pinot Grigio might sound like a pretty standard selection of wines, but not when you hear that they are all being made by a company in the West Midlands, using grape juice and concentrate from around the world.
Beacon Valley Winery, in Great Barr, buys in the juice and concentrate from aboard, then ferments, oaks, blends and bottles to creates a range of international wines with thoroughly home-grown labels named after local landmarks.
Chris Hogg, a partner in the business, told ThirtyFifty that the winery produces around 1,500 bottles a month - everything from French Merlot to Italian Nebbiolo and a blush wine made with Californian grape varieties.
The range has to be classified as British wine rather than English wine, which is a term reserved for wines made from grapes grown in this country.
Chris said that he would like to be able to source grapes in the UK but so far hasn’t been able to. ‘Some of the smaller vineyards aren’t producing enough capacity and the larger ones are using all theirs,’ he explained, adding, ‘We’ve actually been looking at land to plant out ourselves, but some we found turned out to be to be too high above sea level.’
He said, ‘Whenever we source, we try to go local first, then national, then overseas.’ So the search continues, but in the meantime Beacon Valley will offer its international British selection.