Our aim is to produce quality Welsh Wines
White Castle Vineyard is owned by Robb & Nicola Merchant, it is situated in the beautiful rolling countryside of Monmouthshire in the village of Llanvetherine close to the towns of Abergavenny and Monmouth.
The 5 acre vineyard is planted on a gentle south facing slope that is ideal for growing vines and ripening grapes for Welsh wine.
White Castle Vineyard is dedicated to producing a variety of quality welsh wines using first class viticultural practices.
We are very passionate about what we do here at White Castle Vineyard and are always striving to be as good as we possibly can be.
We feel very privileged to have a vineyard here in Abergavenny.
Having purchased the 12 acre small holding in 1995 they converted the milking parlour into their home a year later, however it was 2008 before the dream of owning a vineyard become a reality, the 5 acre gently sloping, south facing field was purchased, soil tests were performed and vines ordered.
May 2009 saw the planting of 4000 vines, the varieties of vines planted were Pinot Noir, Regent, Rondo, Seyval Blanc & Phoenix, now there was no turning back, May 2010 saw a further planting of 800 vines this variety being Siegerrebe.
Robb & Nicola have attended Plumpton College East Sussex to study viticulture, this training giving them the skills needed to produce quality Welsh Wines.
The Scott Henry trellising system was erected in 2010 with the help of family members. The first harvest taking place through October 2011.
White castle Vineyard have received the following awards for their wines.
2015 English & Welsh wine of the year
• 2014 Gwin gwyn Bronze Award
• 2013 Regent red wine Bronze Award
• 2013 Rosé Bronze Award
2014 South West Vineyard Association
• 2013 Rosé Highly Commended
• Gwin gwyn Bronze Award
2013 Vineyard Association
• 2012 Rondo Red Wine Bronze Award
2012 South West Vineyard Association
• 2011 Pinot Noir Rosé Highly Commended
• 2011 Phoenix White Wine Highly Commended
White Castle Vineyard are proud to have their Gwin Gwyn wine served at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in the Locarno suite to showcase Welsh Business, Education and Tourism. Attendees included The Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM First Minister & The Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP Secretary of State for Wales
Visitors are warmly invited to visit White castle Vineyard to experience the beauty and tranquillity of our rural setting.
We have our Quality Welsh Wines available for purchase from the Cellar Door.
Cellar Door open Friday to Sunday & Bank Holidays, 10am – 5pm.
Conducted Vineyard Tours followed by wine tasting Friday to Sunday & Bank Holidays @ 3pm.
Monday – Thursday & Evenings by prior arrangement.
Llanvetherine, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. NP7 8RA
Tel: 01873 821443
December 2017 Update
Last weekend saw the launch of Wales’ first fortified wine – ‘1581’ – by award-winning Monmouthshire vineyard White Castle.
The result of four years of planning by White Castle’s owners Robb and Nicola Merchant, the new alcoholic drink is similar in style to Port.
Says Robb “Since we’ve had the vineyard it has always been a dream of ours to create a Welsh fortified wine. To make it you have to have a quality grape and were just waiting for the right harvest and volume to be able to do it.”
Adds Robb, who is also chairman of the Welsh Vineyards Association, “The quantity of grapes harvested in 2014 allowed us to put aside a 225-litre barrel of Regent wine with which to make our Welsh fortified wine. The result is drink that is light in texture, very fruity, and reflects what we do at White Castle.”
Available as a limited edition, a barrel has now been put away after each harvest and stored at the Three Choirs winery in Newent, which produces White Castle’s wines.
1581 joins White Castle’s range of red, white, rose, and sparkling wine which since the vineyard’s first harvest in 2011 have reaped numerous national wine awards.
The new beverage has close links to the area’s heritage and takes its name – 1581 – from a grade II* listed Tudor barn at the vineyard, which is situated in the village of Llanvetherine near Abergavenny and Monmouth.
Its future once in doubt, Robb and Nicola worked with local building preservation charity – The Village Alive Trust, to save the building and with funding from Cadw and the Heritage Lottery Fund the Croft Barn has been restored.
The barn is now used for a variety of events including, open days and weddings, and for talks and courses about viticulture (the science of grapes and their culture).
Says Robb, “It is a wonderful building, and it is an integral part of our vineyard, so it was natural that we took the date of its construction for the name of our Welsh fortified wine. It has been an important building in the locality for centuries, and was featured by Lord Raglan in his book on ancient buildings in Monmouthshire.”
White Castle has been helped with its ventures by Cywain – a project which supports the development of new markets for growth orientated businesses in the agri-food sector.
Says Robb, “Cywain have been with us since we began, they have helped us in a variety of ways including branding. It is very much a two-way relationship and they have been fantastic.”
Says Cywain Development Manager, Rolant Tomos, “It’s been a privilege to see how White Castle have developed and the business grown in recent years. Launching 1581 will be another great leap for the business as it expands its product offering.”
November 2016 Update
White Castle Vineyard share with us their progress through Autumn
Harvest 2016 is well underway at White Castle Vineyard and every last day of sunshine and warm breeze is welcome until all the fruits of our labour are hand harvested and pressed.
As always the Rondo grape variety seems well ahead with Pinot Noir précoce a close contender. Overall we are pleased with the growing season and our crop this year is consistent in bunch size and the grape skins have a lovely bloom. This year our Siegerrebe variety has bronzed nicely and fingers crossed we can make our first white wine from its intensely aromatic juice, we shall keep you updated……
As always our kites are flying high and our back up bird scarer keeps us on our toes with its random shot. A spectacular view of lush vine leaf boasting sun kissed grapes can be enjoyed from the terrace, but a wander amongst the vines is a real treat for those of you who are wine lovers or curious as to how we can actually grow and ripen grapes in Llanvetherine, Wales. Returning to the Cellar Door and tasting our award winning wines fullfills a unique experience. Our wine tastings and tours are a great way to learn more about vine growing and how to enjoy wine.
“Fine wine can be one of life’s great pleasure by itself or making a good meal great”
Monday 26th September saw the Welsh vineyards association and its members come together at Llanerch vineyard Cardiff for their annual competition.
This year saw a change in format with a trade and press wine tasting session, an opportunity for each vineyard to raise their profile and trade and press to meet the producer.
Running alongside this session was the judging.
- 42 wines were entered by 9 Welsh vineyards.
- This years judging panel were Linda Johnson-Bell a wine critic/ author/ climate change Analyst.
- Michael Harrison Bibendum fine wine manager/ judge at various International wine competitions.
- David Cowderoy a wine maker himself and owner of Bevtec.
- There were 5 classes of wines judged with 10 bronze and 5 silver awards being given We were delighted to gain 2 bronze awards, 1 silver award and the best overall red wine this year. With the competition results announced following dinner we were presented with an engraved salver in recognition of our success with our Pinot Noir précoce red wine.
The awards dinner was attended by representatives from the food Division of Welsh Government. Filming throughout the day with a live link to the evening was the S4C programme Heno.
Following a great day with fellow vineyard owners and guests its back to work in the vineyard for us, it’s true the best fertiliser is the vineyard owners footprint, and on that note here’s to a good harvest 2016 to all.
September, 2015 update
White Castle vineyard had a great start to 2015.
A plan to restore their grade 2* listed barn dated 1581, became a reality with funding from Cadw and Heritage Lottery with the project then being managed by Robb & Nicola & The Village Alive Trust.
Robb and Nicola joined forces with village alive trust forming WHAM, Wine & Heritage alive in Monmouthshire. www.wineandheritage.org.uk The partnership is for the management of the restored barn as a learning space for both wine and heritage.
Since the launch on 20th June activities to date have been, local school children having maypole dancing lessons, vine & vineyard nutrition course led by Chris Cooper & the SWVA summer meeting.
On the wine front they entered wines for the first time in both the IWC 2015 & UKVA English & Welsh Wine Competition 2015.
Delighted with the results……
IWC, received a commended with their Regent 2013( red wine), UKVA English & Welsh wine competition, their 3 still wines each received A Bronze award. Gwin gwyn 2014( White wine ) Regent 2013 (red wine ) & Rose 2013
March, 2015 update
The White Castle Vineyard and the Croft Farm Restoration
(because this blog is quite long rather than reproduce it here the full article is at
January, 2015 update
White Castle Vineyard from Llanvetherine Monmouthshire. NP7 8RA
are celebrating Welsh Wine week with conducted Vineyard Tour & Wine Tastings.
Welsh Wine Week. Saturday 23rd May – Sunday 31st May 2015
Booking advisable, telephone 01873 821443