St Mary’s New Wine Is Fit For A Future King

robert francis wine tastingAfter five years of planning, wine produced on St Mary’s is now available. And the owner of the Holy Vale Winery, Robert Francis, says he is delighted by the compliments he’s received.

Islanders and visitors have had their first chance to sample his bottles of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, harvested from seven acres of vines around St Mary’s.

Robert says the reaction is everything his wished for, with his first wines being well accepted.

He said his fears that this year’s product wouldn’t be good have proved unfounded.

Robert hopes to increase production over the next few years as the vines ripen although he says he’ll also produce a small yield, as quality is more important that quantity and you can’t have both.

One vine can produce up to one kilogramme of grapes and he has the capacity for 7,000 to 10,000 bottles.

We’re approaching the flowering period and good weather over the next month will be key to full production.

And the late summer and early autumn, when the fruit ripens, will also be critical. Warmer weather will mean higher sugar levels and greater quality.

Robert once promised to send a bottle from his first harvest to Prince Charles. Now it’s clear that the wine is fit for a future king, he says he’ll be arranging that soon.

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