A BRIEF HISTORY OF US
The Vineyard, a family business was planted in early 1991 on land adjacent to the Roman City of Uriconium (Wroxeter). The land on which the vineyard stands is part of a small holding (Glebe Farm) and has been in the family for over 60 years, some five generations have farmed the land.
David Millington, a farmers son, went in to large scale farm management after leaving Agricultural College. He was Estate Manager of one of the CWS Estates locally which was one of the largest farmers in the United Kingdom. After this he ran his own agrochemical company in the West Midlands region of England.
The idea of a Vineyard was conceived in the late 1980’s after David visited California in the United States of America on business as an Agricultural Consultant, looking at large farming equipment. The areas he visited were so young in history, it was realised that the family’s farm back home at Wroxeter had over 2000 years of history. The Glebe Farm, which then was considered an agricultural liability, but was attracting the public and many archaeologists to the Roman remains. After all, it is known that that the Romans took the vine wherever they went including Wroxeter some 2000 years ago.
Most of Glebe Farm was scheduled ancient monument but had one field outside the scheduled area that had previously been ploughed. After carefully considering the implications of planting near a scheduled monument, the present site of the vineyard was found to be suitable. This was because it is a level site, well sheltered and has very free draining soils.
Vine growing and wine making author Gillian Pearkes, who was considered to be an authority on growing vines in England was contacted for advice. Over a two year period in the early 1990’s David and the family made many visits to Yearlstone Vineyard in Devon. During these visits the family were given instruction on what varieties to plant, how to grow and maintain those varieties and also how to produce top quality English wines. Along with Wroxeter Vineyard, many other English and Welsh vineyards owe their very existence to the late Gillian Pearks.
In 1991, on Gillian’s advice five varieties were chosen and planted, these were:-
- Madeleine Angevine
These varieties were planted in early 1991 and the vineyards first vintage was produced in late 1992. This was and still is quite an achievement in wine growing terms, having a crop so soon after planting.
In 1993 David and his wife Christine sold their Agrochemical business to concentrate on looking after the vineyard full time. Martin their son joined the family business soon after horticultural college and now is the resident wine maker at Wroxeter. His knowledge of the vines allowing him to continue making Award Winning Quality English Wines at Wroxeter.
Since the original vineyard was planted several new varieties have now been planted, these are:-
The Millington family now live on site and continue educating people about the vineyard and its wines, the Romans and wine and Quality English Wine.