Village business to host wine tasting fayre

A family-run wine business is to host a tasting fayre a decade after the first vines were planted in its grounds.

By Nick Rennie
Monday, 13th June 2022, 1:31 pm
Helenka and William Brown, who are preparing to host a wine tasting fayre at Hickling Pastures
Helenka and William Brown, who are preparing to host a wine tasting fayre at Hickling Pastures

Wine lovers and foodies are invited to attend the event at Hanwell Wine Estate, in Hickling Pastures, on Saturday, from 2pm until 9pm.

More than 50 wines, craft beer, cider and gin, as well as a selection of local food, will be on offer in the picturesque setting of the wine estate, with live music throughout.

The fayre will showcase the midlands' wine credentials, including Hanwell’s own sparkling wine, which us made using the traditional Champagne method, through to an ice wine with a history of awards from its parent vineyard, which is also in the East Midlands.

Dating back to the 1970s, the foundations for the estate were laid when the parents of Helenka Brown found a single vine in the dilapidated greenhouse of the new family home they had just moved into.

The discovery inspired the family to venture into the world of wine production, and Eglantine Vineyard was officially opened in 1979, holding the title of the most northerly commercial vineyard in the world in the mid-1980s.Helenka and husband William founded Hanwell Wine Estate in 2012, specialising in English sparkling wine.

The grape varieties first harvested in 2015 were Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which resulted in the launch of Hanwell’s first sparkling wine in 2018. Today, the estate boasts around 8,000 vines that are tended to by the family and supported by a team of local employees and volunteers.

Helenka Brown said: “When my father first decided to plant a vineyard here in the east midlands back in the 1970s, people laughed and thought it couldn’t be done.

"After 20 years of trialling more than 250 varieties of grapes, he was able to produce award-winning wines.

“With Hanwell we want to continue this tradition of producing world class English wine and invite people to be part of the experience by joining us for a tasting, tour or simply a picnic in the beautiful countryside.

"We look forward to welcoming people to our wine fayre and celebrating the amazing wine and produce that this region has to offer.”

A variety of ticket options for the event - and camping spots in the Hanwell Wine Estate’s grounds for those who wish to stay overnight - are available to book via the vineyard’s official website, with prices for adult ticket holders starting from £34 for an Early Bird Access All Areas (AAA) ticket.

General admission starts from £19, while under 18s get in for free but need to be accompanied by an adult aged 25-plus.

Visitors who buy a ticket which includes the wine tasting option will be able to choose from three different slots; 2-4pm, 3-5pm or 4-6pm.

Tastings will be limited to AAA ticket holders, and bars will be open for wine by the glass and by the bottle from 2pm to 6pm.

Visit to book tickets and to get further information on the event.