Rescheduled Honiton Gate to Plate a perfect launchpad for local vineyard

New rose wine and cider tipples from a vineyard at Weston will be available for the public to sample for the first time – at the rescheduled Honiton Gate to Plate.

After the disappointment of having to postpone the event due to forecast severe weather, the organisers of the one-day local produce festival have announced it will go ahead on Saturday, September 28.

Founded by former office workers Peter and Christine Helliwell, the vineyard at Heron Farm has been bearing fruit since almost day one. In fact, it has already won them recognition for a sparkling wine.

The couple, who moved to Devon from Scotland looking for a complete lifestyle change, spent their first few months harvesting grapes – while developing ambitious plans to turn the farm into a visitor experience. A cafe, glamping accommodation and a desire to produce their own wine and cider completely consumed them.

Admittedly hard work, the new venture has given the Helliwells enormous satisfaction. They are determined to create not just a visitor destination but a ‘brand that is synonymous with our ethos of sustainability and quality’.

Future plans include a kitchen and farm shop, a walled garden, play area and signposted walks through the vineyard.

Heron Farm: The award-winning vineyard at Weston, near Honiton

Looking ahead to Honiton Gate to Plate, the couple told East Devon “We are very excited to be attending Gate to Plate. Not only will this be the first time our newly-established business has a stall at an event like this, it will be the first opportunity for customers to sample and purchase our newly available rose wine and cider.

“Our award-winning sparkling wine will also be available.

“We think Gate to Plate is the perfect opportunity for us to meet lots of new people and spread the word about Honiton’s very own vineyard, and we are really looking forward to it.”

The vineyard at Heron Farm spans 3.5 acres and sits on south-facing, gently sloping land.

Three grape varieties are currently grown on the farm – Solaris, Seyval Blanc, and Pinot Noir. So far, the Helliwells have around 4,000 vines and produce up to 4,000 bottles of still and sparkling wine per year.

For further information, visit Heron Farm.

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