Limeburn Hill Vineyard is owned and cared for by us – Robin Snowdon and Georgina Harvey. We run the vineyard on biodynamic principles because we want to work in a healthy landscape, rich in wildlife, and allow the full expression of the spirit of the land in the fruit that is grown here.
We make small batches of wine exclusively from our own grapes which are hand harvested, and fermented using the wild yeast on the skins, to produce Demeter-certified natural wines. We make three Pétillant Naturel wines, using a traditional method of single fermentation in the bottle to produce lightly sparkling, deliciously dry and aromatic wines. We continuously experiment with macerating the juice on the grape skins to influence flavour, colour, tannins and longevity.
Our amber Pet Nat, Beltain, is complex and savoury, and made from the Orion grape. Lammas, our rosé Pet Nat has notes of strawberry from the Pinot Noir and lemon sherbet from Seyval Blanc. Our unorthodox sparkling red with its amazing fuchsia pink foam, has rich berry and forest fruit favours from Regent and Rondo grapes. They contain only naturally occurring sulphites, and are unfiltered and without additives making them suitable for vegans.
In order that no wine is wasted we also distil the wine residue, disgorged from the bottles to remove the sediment of skins and yeast, to create a caramel rich ‘eau de vie de vin’. This will be available for Christmas 2023 from our usual outlets.
We also use the grape skins a second time, combined with water and organic sugar to make a distilled grape marc spirit, before they are finally returned to the vineyard and composted. This grape marc distillation is macerated with quince from our farm to produce a beautifully fragrant 40% ABV spirit, with a natural sweetness from the quince, honey and rose aromas, and a light tannin on the tongue.
There are many way to enjoy the vineyard and its wines throughout the seasons. We run public tours and tastings on Sundays between May and September. We enjoy collaborations with chefs, restaurants and shops for food and wine pairings and wine tastings, and host outdoor fire feasts on the vineyard with Ubuntu Food. More details on our Tours, Tastings and Events page.
We wish to promote greater understanding of the value of biodynamic agriculture to aid soil health in the UK with one-day workshops on biodynamic winegrowing on the vineyard and a 5-part online course in winter – more details on our Workshops, Courses and Talks page.
You can keep up to date with the cycle of our vineyard year through our Instagram page limeburnhill . We share our activities and discoveries, record the incredible range of wildlife which shares this beautiful landscape and celebrate the people who are drawn here and become part of our community. Follow us to find out what’s happening…
You can find other events of interest (permaculture, natural beekeeping, compost-making, forest garden tours, etc.) at our host farm – Westfield Farm.
Our approach to both the land and the winemaking is based on the principles of biodynamic agriculture. This system was developed by Rudolph Steiner in the 1920s and is the precursor to the organic movement. It is the original holistic agricultural system and considers the vineyard as an integral and supportive part of the social and ecological communities at a local, global and universal level.
The vineyard is certified as both biodynamic and organic, and our approach focuses on enhancing health as opposed to fighting disease; this is called a salutogenic approach. To achieve this we use compost teas and plant-based sprays to help nourish the vines, as well as organic manures and composted wood-chip to build the most suitable soil for them. We think about how a vine would grow naturally and try to create a living system that is as close to that as possible.
From a biodynamic perspective the vineyard is managed according to five principles:
- we recognise the inherent value and interconnectedness of all things
- we work with both the material/physical and the energetic/life force aspects of the world
- we consider the farm as a living organism and make it as healthy, self-sufficient and balanced as possible;
- we work with a series of special biodynamic preparations, based on plants, quartz and cow manure, to feed the vines and soil;
- we work with the rhythms of the sun, moon and stars, for example planting, harvesting or bottling according to the cycle of the moon.
We would love you to come and visit us to learn more and taste our wines!