Grape expectations for school

Buckswood Vintage SUS-150307-103300001
Buckswood Vintage SUS-150307-103300001

Guestling school Buckswood, has taken delivery of wine, made from grapes grown, nurtured and picked by students on the School’s own vineyard.

Dry white and sparkling wines were produced under the watchful eye and expert guidance of local award-winning wine producer Carr-Taylor Vineyards.

The school says that this year’s wine, the second from the vineyard, is getting better with age and as the vines mature, the flavour of the wine improves.

The vineyard was planted five years ago on the Guestling estate with the grape variety ‘Ortega’ being selected with the aim of producing a dry white wine.

Over the course of the last five years, with the variations in weather the vineyard has grown and established itself as a fine cropper, with the first harvest being turned into 500 bottles of a dry white last year.

With a bumper harvest this year 750 bottles have been produced, which have been sold at various school events, with all the donations going to the school’s Swaziland charity which contributes towards water projects, education and healthcare in the Kingdom.

In addition to the Ortega grapes, this year saw the planting of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties. So this year, the School has also produced its first sparkling white wine - ‘Buckswood Bubbles’.

Speaking of the project, Buckswood Headteacher Mark Redsell said “Experience is the ‘Buckswood Difference’ and it is at the heart of everything we do, our sole aim is to produce young ladies and gentlemen that have an inner confidence and have a myriad of experiences that set them apart from their contemporaries.

The idea for the Buckswood Vineyard was born out of the combination of the excellent local grape growing conditions on our Sussex coastal estate and the desire to give all the Buckswood scholars yet another opportunity to experience the world hands-on, in science, business, art and geography. There is a chance for every academic discipline at Buckswood to use the project as a resource.”

The temperature on the south coast has risen by one degree Celsius over the past ten years, which in the world of vitaculture (or wine making), can mean the difference between a bottle of plonk and a world class vintage, and the total land being cultivated as vineyards has doubled in the last ten years.

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