Little Ashley's Farm
OS map reference 625813
The vineyard is just off the A363 Bath Road, north of the town. A mile after leaving Bradford, look out for a narrow lane to your left signposted Ashley.(opposite the Cumberwell Park golf club) After nearly a mile there is a cross roads with a triangular green in the middle. Little Ashley Farm is across this green on the right. hill.
The town of Bradford-on-Avon has historic connections with viticulture being one of 42 sites mentioned in Domesday Book. Currently there are 3 vineyards in the vicinity. Nearby is the restored Kennet & Avon canal with popular marina facilities.
Little Ashley vineyard was planted with 850 vines in 1986 on the gently south-facing slope of a field bordering the 17th. Century farmhouse and buildings at Little Ashley Farm.
All vines in the vineyard are grafted on S04 phylloxera resistant rootstocks which improves their disease resistance but shortens their life from their normal 100 years to about 20.
The vineyard year
In the Spring the buds burst producing the fruiting laterals which grow at an alarming rate and have to be kept in trim throughout the season. Flowering usually takes place in June with the wind providing pollination.
In the past years the early ripening grapes have been harvested in late September and the late ripening ones - Schonburger- in early November. The exact date of harvesting depends upon the grapes' sugar content and acidity. Once the wine has been produced, it is transferred to a cool wine store where it is kept in bins for 6 to 12 months before before it is ready for drinking.