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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 18:31 GMT
Go-ahead for vineyard winery
Vineyard
The vineyard could produce 80,000 bottles a year
A Suffolk vineyard owner is toasting victory in a two-year battle to build a winery.

Stephen Williams, who owns Witenagemot Wines at in Shotley near Ipswich, had been refused planning permission for the extension and lost an appeal.

He says now planners have given a modified scheme for the purpose-built winery the go-ahead, so the vineyard can expand production considerably.

"Currently we only have sufficient capacity to produce about 9,500 bottles from the current field, which is about seven acres - but not all the vines are producing there yet," he said

We just could not get any further unless we had a bigger building

Owner Stephen Williams
"We've just planted another 12-acre field so eventually we could be producing, on a good year, anything between 50,000 and 80,000 bottles a year.

"The new field is south-facing and has better soil.

"We just could not get any further unless we had a bigger building and that was the whole idea behind the planning application.

"And now we've got it - wonderful."

Grape varieties

Mr Williams set up the vineyard from scratch in 1997 after a soil test showed the land would be good for wine production.

The main grape varieties are Bacchus, Reichensteiner and Rondo.

The new field has Pinot Noir, Seyval Blanc, Ortega and Auxerrois.

At the moment most of the wine is sold in south Suffolk and north Essex, but he plans to sell further afield as the vineyard expands.


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08 Oct 02 | England
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