‘No short­cuts – the key to mak­ing wine is pa­tience’

A new brand of wine pro­duced on the out­skirts of Can­ter­bury has just been born. Alex Clar­idge meets the fam­ily be­hind it

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Vineyard -

Good peo­ple. Mak­ing su­perb wines. In a beau­ti­ful lo­ca­tion. Just out­side Can­ter­bury. Yes, that’s prob­a­bly the best way to de­scribe the Chartham Vine­yard which this month cel­e­brates the sales of its first wines – four years af­ter the grapes were first planted.

The vine­yard, which op­er­ates out of Burnt House Farm in Sta­tion Road, now forms part of a grow­ing in­dus­try in south­east Eng­land and sits in a chain of wine pro­duc­ers stretch­ing from Chich­ester in West Sus­sex and Go­dalm­ing in Sur­rey to the Barn­sole Vine­yard near Sta­ple in east Kent. Simp­sons English Wine Es­tate at Barham joined last year while cham­pagne pro­ducer Tat­tinger started to grow grapes at Chil­ham ear­lier this year.

This is no ac­ci­dent. The cli­mate – warmer weather and low rain­fall – and the ge­ol­ogy com­bine to cre­ate suit­able con­di­tions to grow grapes. It is very much like the con­ti­nen­tal wine-pro­duc­ing re­gions.

But for the fam­ily be­hind the Chartham Vine­yard, pro­duc­ing fine wines is just one el­e­ment of its as­pi­ra­tions for the fu­ture.

The vine­yard is the re­sult of a vi­sion by the Good­e­noughs – fa­ther Richard, mum Roz and son Andy, who man­ages the vine­yard on a day-to-day ba­sis.

All have come to vini­cul­ture afresh from other pro­fes­sions, but have ev­i­dently taken up their new work with pas­sion and com­mit­ment.

Richard, a re­tired Univer­sity of Kent lec­turer in geog­ra­phy and en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence, says one of the vine­yard’s aims is to es­tab­lish it­self firmly in the cen­tre of vil­lage life.

“We value our role in the com­mu­nity and we are go­ing to em­ploy lo­cal peo­ple to help pick our grapes,” the 75-yearold said.

“Our first har­vest of grapes was picked by fam­ily and friends last year. But the wider vil­lage of Chartham seems to have great in­ter­est in what we are do­ing.

“We are think­ing about a cafe and hav­ing out­door seat­ing and dis­play­ing art in the barn. We are in­ter­ested in com­bin­ing wine with art and there are

Pic­tures: Chris Davey FM4888647

An­drew Good­e­nough in­spects the Chardon­nay grapes

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