In 1973 local wine retailer Alan McKechnie started harvesting the vines on his small fruit farm. With a little help from the 1976 record summer temperatures and bumper harvest; his small fruit farm continued to expand from 1/5 of a hectare to 8 hectares. Alan sold up in 1984 due to poor health, and under the new ownership of John Oldacre the vineyard gradually grew to its current size of 30 hectares. Winemaker Martin Fowkes arrived at Three Choirs in 1988. He feels that the well-drained sandy soils are best suited to producing aromatic white wines so, eschewing current fashion, the vineyard largely steers clear of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and instead leads towards more Germanic varietals.
Today, nestled in the Forest of Dean and boasting an impressive 30 hectares of beautiful vineyards, Three Choirs is recognised as one of the largest commercial wineries in England; along with being the first English vineyard to be awarded a Gold medal at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, France. The single estate location in the idylic Cotswolds provides a unique microclimate for growing a range of perfectly developed grapes. In 2014 Three Choirs became proud owners of Wickham Vineyard and will be replanting areas of the vineyards over the coming years.
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