Sparkling - Chapel Down Vineyards
The Great Lodge, Bardfield was built (and partially destroyed!)
in the 16th Century. The rebuilt house, including the surviving
East wing is constructed on 2 sides of a courtyard and is
currently the headquarters of a large farming enterprise, of
which a hectare of viticulture plays a small part. The Grade I
listed barn was constructed for Anne of Cleves, one of the more
pragmatic wives of Henry VIII
(she agreed to a divorce without
argument and was rewarded with several English properties).
The house is reputed to have a ghost, but no-one is quite
sure whose it is.
The vines were planted in 1990 on a slight south facing slope on the eastern side of the house.
Advice on the suitability of the types was given by the wine writer Hugh Johnson, who
lives nearby. A small crop was obtained after 3 years and the output and quality has
increased steadily, resulting in the award of East Anglian Wine of the Year in 1996.
Wines are sold in several local restaurants. One interesting by-product is the prunings
of the vines, which have been used in a Thaxted restaurant as barbecue fuel.
The surrounding area