Yearlstone Vineyard

Yearlstone is a cool climate vineyard, hidden deep in the Exe Valley, about 11 miles from Exeter. It is the oldest vineyard in Devon and well worth a visit. After a short drive of about a quarter of a mile up a narrow road over-shadowed by high hedgerows, we reached the vineyard, which is spread over a steep, sunny, south-facing slope. The vineyard covers about 3 hectares (7 acres), and is on Red Devon sandstone, a type of soil that is good for grapes as it drains so well.
We had a good wander around the vineyard, following the suggested tour route, which took us around half an hour. The going was very steep in places and the grass would probably be rather slippery if it was wet. Although there are now nearly 400 vineyards in England, to most of us it is not a familiar scene, and it was quite strange to see rows of carefully strung vines, overlooking rolling woodland slopes, typical of south-western England.
After seeing the vines, we had a very pleasant wine tasting, sampling six wines. The wines are mostly dry, ranging from a ‘crisp zingy’ white, (Number 1, which we really liked), to a rose (Number 3), a light fruity red (Number 4), and a sparkling brut. (I would also add that they serve a really good coffee in the Deli Shack cafe, which they blend themselves.)
All in all we spent a pleasant couple of hours at Yearlstone Vineyard, and came away with some good bottles of very nice English wine.


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