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Royal Familys Vineyard At Windsor, Queen Makes Her Own Wine
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Queen to Make Wine at Home!

I have visions of HRH hard at work with a hand fruit press and the Duke of Edinbugh pulping apples with a sword but the truth is simpler than that though.

The Royal family it seems are to have their own vineyard at Windsor Great Park. Does this make the Queen the country's most famous wine making beginner?

The vines are to be planted in Windsor Great park over several weeks in May 2011 and although it will be several years before any wine is produced it could well be the tipple of choice at any future Royal wedding since the plan is to produce an English sparkling wine to try to rival those from the continent and the New World.

It is understood that the Duke of Edinburgh has taken a strong interest in the whole thing and with the help of the Master of Wine at Chapel Down is strongly involved. Chapel Down is Britain's biggest wine producer.

Sussex to the south east of London has long been a producer of sparkling wine in Britain and the bubbly that is produced there is frequently to be found at Royal banquets but now with the Royal family producing their own there will be some competition. The commercial side of the Royal family is already pretty strong with Prince Charles behind the Duchy product range, which is widely available throughout the country. This includes an excellent beer so it is not the first foray into the alcohol business (the beer is not brewed by the Prince's estates though)

All together about 16,700 vines are to be planted, which is not a number to be sneezed at! There will be a mix of champagne varieties, pinot meunier, chardonnay and pinot noire. Grapes that produce quality sparkling wines across the world.

Wine producers in the UK are very enthusiastic about the whole thing because it will give a huge boost to the whole of the British wine making industry. 4 million bottles of wine were produced in the UK last year, over 50% going to sparkling white. I personally have had some excellent wine from the far west of Wales.

So far to date I have not seen any quotes from the French Champagne industry. I would not expect anything complementary though. The French have a certain snobbishness about Champagne even though large champagne producers such as Moet own vineyards across the world and not just in France.

I do not suspect though that the Royaly family will need a wine making for beginners course to help them out. This is a slightly bigger undertaking than my own attempts though the essential wine making equipment will be similar, just on a larger scale.

Watch this space. Royal family vineyard produced wine coming to a supermarket near you. OK perhaps more like Fortnum and Masons.


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