Bow in the Cloud
Tel: 01666 823040
Bottle sales - by appointment (or by on-line shop)
Wine Maker: Clive Vickers at Halfpenny Green
In 1983, retired navel officer Keith Willingale asked his neighbour, Godfrey Smith of the Sunday Times, to run a competition
to name his house in Noah's Ark, a small Wiltshire hamlet. The resultant 'Bow-in-the-Cloud' has stood
the test of time and is now the site of a 3 acre vineyard. It is now run by Keith's family.
Why Cloud Nine?
In 1996, Keith went back to his neighbour for
a name for his Bacchus wine. This has now been labelled as 'Arkadian Bacchus' and goes with his
'Cloud Nine' Sparkling. The Bacchus has been described by Joanna Simon as 'clear, sappy and refreshing - everything
English wine should be'. No mean achievement in an area described by its inhabitants as 'windswept Wiltshire'
It is reputed that the ninth pair of creatures to enter Noah's Ark was two crows who loved to boast about 'a day on the grape'.
They chattered away in their top-of-the-ark nest crowing that the juice of the 'lubbly bubbly' was like
"us nines on clouds". This was the origin of the expression "being on cloud nine".
Bow-in -the -Cloud is sited about 2 miles east of the ancient market town of Malmesbury. Planted in 1992-3, the 3 acres of vines are now producing both white and sparkling
wines, currently produced by the Three Choirs contract winery at Newent.
Much of the current production of about 3000 bottles is sold at the farmer's market at Cirencester, though it is also sold at 'the vineyard gate-
preferably by telephone appointment. Full details of this vineyard can be found on their
own web site
The ancient market town of Malmesbury is also well worth a visit. The Abbey has a Norman arch of
the South Porch entrance, Stained glass in the nave by William Morris & Co, the designs by
Sir E. Burne-Jones and the tomb of the Saxon King Althelstan, first king of all England.
At the rear of the Abbey in a room now relegated to storage of bikes and dustbins
is a stained glass window showing Elmer the flying Monk.
The Market Cross (See picture above) was decorated for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.