Sunday, 9 April 2017

Visit Bath…and Take A Tour of the Vineyard!

Did you know that Bath has its own vineyard? Until very recently we didn’t.  

Tucked away on the outskirts of Bath, between Batheaston and Bathford, is a sight you’d probably associate more with Italy and the south of France than with the English countryside. Happily, Mumfords Vineyard is a local gem and nice and easy to get to. 

Mumfords began as the dream project of Tony and Margaret Cox when they discovered back in the
early 1980s that Somerset was home to some fantastic local wines. In 1985 they planted their first grape vines in their gently sloping south-facing field (having been to Germany to find out which varieties are best suited to less Mediterranean climates), and four years later they harvested their first crop and after a year of maturing their wine, took their first delicious sip. Since then their wines have won several Decanter Awards, and even been served to the Queen! Today Mumfords remains a family run business, and one which you can tour!

We were delighted to find out that visitors are welcome all year round. As well as tours of the picturesque vineyards, visitors can take the opportunity of tasting the different varieties of wine which Mumfords produces. They have two different types of white wine, an award-winning rose, and a rich English red wine.

A visit to Mumfords starts with a tour of the vineyard, during which you’ll learn all about the historical and botanical background behind Mumfords. For example, the reason for the name ‘Mumfords’, is because Mumfords is the historical field name recorded in ancient tithe maps - thought to be derived from ‘Montfort’, as Simon de Montfort owned land in the parish in 1250AD.

Next visitors head to see the purpose-built winery where the wine is made and stored. Then it’s time for the highly anticipated tasting, and an explanation of the wine making process is given. 

Group visits, lasting between one-and-a-half to two hours and best for between 5-25 people, can be pre-booked at a cost of £10 per person. Smaller numbers who are interested in an informal wine tasting can also be catered for and the informal tastings are free.  

However! This Tuesday those visitors to Bath who want to take a full tour of the vineyard, but aren’t a group of 5 or more, can join the tour which has been organised through Bath’s Theatre Royal. The tour begins at noon and guests are asked to arrive around fifteen minutes before this at Mumfords Vineyard (Shockerwick Lane, BA1 7LQ). Tickets for this event are £15 and available through the Theatre Royal website.

At Dukes we love learning about local independent businesses and finding new places to visit. Especially when those businesses and places ones which involve a little luxury (and a good glass of wine!).

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