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The Vineyards of the Welsh Marches

The Marches, or border lands were long a scene of conflict between the Saxon kingdoms to the east, and Wales to the West. Offa, king of Mercia, built an incredible earthwork, known as Offa's Dyke, as a boundary between the two areas. William I built a string of castles to guard the border.

The Northern Marches centre on the area of Shropshire north of the Clee Hills. The low lying but sheltered area provides ideal opportunities for testing out the varieties of vines resistant to cooler climates. Wroxeter are amongst the pioneers of the Phoenix grape- a cross between Bacchus and Seyval Blanc. Several vineyards have only recently planted, so may not yet be open to the public. Wroxeter is the oldest established with a winery and well-developed tourist facilities.
The latest- and potentially the largest, is the 8 hectare Hencote Estate outside Shrewsbury which should be in full production by 2020. The only commercial vineyard in Cheshire is the lon established carden Park Hotel, which, after a period on inactivity, was replanted and now produces a sparkling wine, largely for use in the hotel.

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