In August our trip was to Renishaw Hall gardens and vineyard. Fourteen of us set off from Hucknall Marketplace in a mini bus and thank goodness it didn’t rain because our whole day was to be outside. On arrival we started our day in true U3A style with coffee and bacon/sausage cobs and then went through to the gardens. The gardens are impressive and we were agreed that they are worth visiting again, perhaps when the bluebells are out.
Of course the main purpose of our visit was to extend our knowledge of wine and we weren’t disappointed. At 2 o’clock we were collected by Kieron Atkinson, the owner of the vineyard. He leases the land from the Sitwell family, who are the owners of Renishaw Hall and Gardens. He introduced himself as a wine consultant and vine-grower and our two hours of education and entertainment began! He talked about growing vines, knowing when to pick the grapes etc. and then we had a tour of the vineyard.
It was really interesting to hear how his business has developed over the years and about his future plans for ‘glamping’ in the grounds. He offered us the opportunity of returning in a few weeks’ time to help with the grape harvest but we would have to pay him for the experience. A few of us were actually quite interested in doing it!
We tasted three wines in the vineyard itself, with Kieron showing us the correct way to do it. Apparently you don’t just drink wine you have to look at it, smell it and then sip it! Very tasty it was too; you would never imagine that wine produced so far north would be as good as this is.
He had us weighed up straight away and pitched his delivery perfectly to appeal to our sense of humour. He was a great salesman as well, his shop being the boot of his car on this occasion. We all bought a few bottles to take home.
Feeling hungry on our return to Hucknall, several of us visited Wetherspoons, it was ‘Curry Night’ after all. The perfect end to a brilliant day out.
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