We have come to expect vineyards in the south and south west of England but did you know that there is a vineyard in Bedfordshire? According to records, Warden Abbey was a Cistercian Monastery founded in 1136 and the monks were likely to have planted and tended vineyards in its grounds at that time. The modern vineyard was planted back in 1986 and it has produced award winning wines. Funds have been raised to plant new vines in 2015.
We are fortunate to have this local vineyard in the heart of Bedfordshire, located in the countryside not far from Shefford and the village of Old Warden. It is now a cooperative, run by volunteers, and If I wasn’t so busy writing, I’d love to get involved over at Warden Abbey Vineyard.
Warden Abbey wines can be bought locally. I’ve recently seen it in the Ampthill wine shop, The Shuttleworth shop and Jordan’s Mill. Here’s a link to their Christmas newsletter.
In September Warden Abbey have an open day when you can enjoy a guided tour and taste their wines. I’ll tweet when that is going to be nearer the time.
I first came across its sparkling wines back in 2001 and was informed that the wine was endorsed by the Queen Mother and drank at one of her royal occasions. Can anyone verify that for me? Rumour has it that last year’s grape harvest in 2014 was so good that there may be a sparkling wine this year. I do hope so!
When I was planning my Bedfordshire murder mystery, ‘Murder, now and then’ I was enthusiastic to mention Warden Abbey wines but I promise that they had no link to the method used for murder, they were just enjoyed by one of the characters!