At Lilac we are proud to offer a fantastic range of world class rare, local and low intervention wines. After the opening of Robin Wylde in 2020, we began to look for a larger workspace and storage for our ever expanding wine collection. We happened across a 400 year old cellar a stones throw from our restaurant - et voila - the concept of Lilac was born. Since opening in July 2021 we have endeavoured to showcase the very best in local produce, and this includes our wine selection. We are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to knock-out wine producers in the South West so please read on as we share our favourites with you.
Bride Valley Vineyard, Litton Cheney
Bride Valley offer a range of seven single estate wines. Founded in 2011 by Stephen and Bella Spurrier on their 200 acre farm, the clean, chalky soil is almost identical to that found in the Champagne region of France. The vineyard benefits from south facing slopes which are ideal for the cultivation of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines. In 2018 Bride Valley released the UK's first ever Crémant wine which is deliciously creamy on the palate.
Langham Wine Estate, Dorchester
We have written about our love for Langham Wines before but couldn't not include them in this round up. Set on the agricultural estate of the Grade I listed Bingham's Melcombe manor house, the Langham Family have been commercially producing wine since 2009. With a direct approach to producing honest wines, Langham's do not fine or filter their grapes, making them both vegetarian and vegan friendly. Particularly commendable is their work to reduce chemical intervention in the vineyard, instead employing diligent canopy management to minimise the effect of disease. It is little wonder that in 2021 their Culver Classic Cuvée was voted South West Wine of the Year.
Castlewood Vineyard, Musbury
Geographically our closest producer, Castlewood is set amongst the rolling hills of East Devon and owned and managed by The Corbett Family. Their minimal intervention approach to wine making produces some exceptional still and sparkling wines. With an emphasis on quality over quantity, the grapes are picked and pressed with no filtration or fining methods used. In addition to their own wines they have produced a number of collaborative wines, notably 'Devon Minnow' and 'Artefact'. In 2020 they produced just 1200 bottles of 'Artefact', a white wine produced in Tuscan Amphora to give a unique, soothing texture.
Furleigh Estate, Bridport
The Furleigh Estate is an 85 acre former dairy farm, transformed to create a modern vineyard and winery. Run and managed by husband and wife team, Ian and Rebecca, they grow a mixture of vines, producing both still and sparkling wines. Their aim is to minimise intervention to keep the natural balance of the wines they produce. They won gold, silver and bronze awards at the Independent English Wine Awards in 2020.
Knightor Winery, St Austell
Set above St Austell Bay, Knightor Winery have been producing still and sparkling wines, as well as English Vermouths, since 2013. Produced on four acres of Cornish pastureland, they blend with other English grown grapes to create small batch wines. Both innovative and uncompromising, Knightor offer vegan friendly wines which are low in sulphates. Their family of English Vermouths are rich and intense in flavour, making them a perfect aperitif.
Limeburn Hill Vineyard, Bristol
Limeburn Hill was the first bio-dynamic vineyard in the South West, and one of only seven in the UK. Wine production began in 2015, with the hand planting of 1800 vines. In 2020 and 2021 a further 1200 vines were planted and Limeburn now grow eight varieties of grape. All of their wines are certified as organic and biodynamic. They produce excellent Pet Nat wines and experimental amber wines. Their authentic terroir is reflected in their consistent approach to biodynamic agriculture, their observation of the lunar calendar to plant, harvest and bottle, and their commitment to self sufficient production.
If you would like to sample some locally produced wines why not visit us at Lilac. We offer a selection of fantastic wines by the glass or bottle. Look out for our Sunday Specials Board - a careful curation of wines sold by the glass and a chance to try something a bit different.
We look forward to welcoming you soon,
Harriet & The Lilac Team