HRH Must Wait Another Year For St Mary’s Wine

Robert's vineyard at Holy Vale

Robert’s vineyard at Holy Vale

Prince Charles won’t be receiving a complimentary bottle of St Mary’s wine this Christmas.

Star Castle Hotel owner Robert Francis had hoped that his Silver Carn Chardonnay and Holy Vale Pinot Noir would have been ready for the festive season.

But Robert says the poor weather in May and June meant late flowering as the superb summer arrived.

And he says the birds went on a feeding frenzy after that.

Robert says he’ll definitely put down netting in 2014 even though it’ll be extra investment for the business.

He’s still managed to produce around 100 litres of wine, which has gone through fermentation.

And if the wine is good enough, he may send a bottle to Prince Charles next year.

Robert says the Duke of Cornwall asked him to send the first bottle four years ago when he spoke to him at a tenant’s lunch, just after planting the vines.

It could take seven years to get the wine up to standards, he says, and it’s getting stronger every year.

Whether the product is perfect or not, St Mary’s will have a new attraction in 2014. The Holy Vale Vineyard shop and exhibition centre is set to open at around Easter.

Robert says there will be information panels, storyboarding the history of winemaking inside the building.

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