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Cllr Knewstub with jug of crushed grapes, making wine at the grape and honey farm

Plans for vineyard bears fruit

A community-run vineyard in Greenford is successfully producing its own wine after 6 years in operation.

Back in 2017, the Horsenden Allotment and Garden Association (HAAGA), launched its mission to create a working vineyard on a disused piece of land.

Joseph Manger, who first had the idea for a vineyard, said: “This area was a south facing slope. It was too steep for allotments, but the perfect position for a vineyard.”

The project was awarded £10,000 funding from Ealing Council’s Transform Your Space programme, which funds inspirational projects that improve outdoor spaces within the borough.

Making wine

Six years on, the Horsenden Grape and Honey Farm, in Whitton Avenue East, produces organic honey, grows a range of fruit and its vineyard is now producing grapes which are being turned into the farm’s own brand of wine.

It took several years after planting to get a healthy crop of grapes. In 2021 they shipped off their grapes to a wine maker who combined them with other grapes, but they were disappointed by the wine created.

This year the team is going it alone, hoping to produce 90 bottles of the red and 90 bottles of white.

Joseph said: “Our plan is to market and sell the wine. The whole idea is to make a profit and be self-sufficient.”

Crushing grapes

In September after the grape picking, volunteers were invited to take off their shoes and crush the grapes in a specially built wooden tub, a method of wine production that dates back to the Roman era.

After a week or 2 of the primary fermentation process, the juice and crushed grape remains were squeezed and the young wine placed in secondary fermentation containers, where it will hopefully mature into a delicious local wine.

Councillor Polly Knewstub, cabinet member for thriving communities, joined the team to lend a hand in this crucial part of the process.

Councillor Knewstub said: “What Joseph and his team of volunteers have created on this previously forgotten and unloved bit of land is incredible. I love coming down to visit the vineyard and allotment and am very much looking forward to tasting this year’s vintage.”

Visit the Horsenden Grape and Honey Farm Facebook page for more information.

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