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The Great Wine Debate

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St Edmund Hall

Queen's Lane

Oxford

OX1 4AR

United Kingdom

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Innovative Farmers will be kicking off the Oxford conferences with their annual Fringe event, open to both OFC and ORFC delegates.

About this Event

Following on from the success of the 'Great Beer Debate', the 'Grate' Cheese Debate' and 2019's sell out 'Great Cider Debate', this year we're asking you to hold back from dry January for just one day and join us to discuss and taste all things British wine.

BBC Farming Today's, Anna Hill will be asking all the important questions; how UK vineyards are adjusting to changing weather patterns, what ecological innovations are changing the business, and how they’re convincing the customer to buy local? Bring your taste buds and your inquisitive minds to take part in this collaborative discussion that unites delegates from both Oxford conferences.

It won't all be talk though. The panel will be bringing a selection of their wines so you can taste how the decisions they make in the vineyard affect the finished products.

Free but limited places - registration required.

This event is strictly for those aged 18 and over

Draft agenda

4.30pm: Doors and arrival drinks

5.00pm: Event commences – introduction from chair, introductions from producers

5.15pm: Discussion and Q&A

5.45pm: Final words and invitation to delegates to sample wines

6.30pm: Event end

Please contact Jenny Holmes at jholmes@soilassociation.org for further information.

Panel:

Will Davenport, Davenport Vineyards

In 1991 Will Davenport planted 5 acres of vines at Horsmonden in Kent, while simultaneously working for a Hampshire vineyard and, unintentionally, this became the beginning of a life-long business as a wine producer. 26 years later the vineyards now make up 24 acres, grown on 5 parcels of land, 9 grape varieties and a multitude of soil types and micro-climates. The vineyards are mostly at Horsmonden in Kent, with a smaller vineyard next to the winery at Rotherfield, East Sussex.

Davenport believe that the route to making the best wines is to work with nature and this has to begin with organic grapes, believing the fruit becomes a true expression of the grape variety and the soil that it grows in. They try to make wines with as little energy as possible, mostly generated on site by solar panels, but also considering the footprint of every aspect, from grapes to packaging.

The winery is at the East Sussex site in Rotherfield, capable of making 80,000 bottles of wine per year. Davenport's own production is around 30,000 bottles, depending of the weather and crop yield each year.

Cameron Roucher, Rathfinny Estate

After eighteen months of careful planning and preparation Rathfinny planted the first 60,000 vines on a 20ha (50 acres) site in April 2012. Rathfinny have now planted over 380,000 vines on 91ha (227 acres) and over the next six years the Vineyard will grow to approximately 149ha (350 acres) of vines. When at full capacity, the Winery will produce nearly eighty thousand cases of Sussex Sparkling wine per annum, making Rathfinny one of England’s most significant wine producers.

The Estate lies on a band of chalk that forms the Paris Basin, running up through northern France, crossing through the Champagne region and into Southern England to form the South Downs. The Cretaceous geology consists of chalky deposits made by the skeletal remains of sea creatures over 100 million years ago, which were then heaved upwards tectonically to become part of the land. For vines, the shallow but fertile, well drained chalky soil is an ideal growing medium for sparkling wine grapes.

Emma Lundie, Forty Hall Vineyards

Forty Hall Vineyard is an exciting social enterprise which has established a 10 acre vineyard in north London. Run and managed by local people, the vineyard is the first commercial scale vineyard in London since the middle ages, producing English still and sparkling wines. Situated on Capel Manor College's Forty Hall Farm, are certified organic and dedicated to demonstrating environmentally sustainable farming and vine-growing practices.

As London's only commercial-scale vineyard Forty Hall are proud that profits from sales of their award winning wines are put back into the project to enable the delivery of health and well-being benefits to the local community. They deliver this through an ecotherapy project which provides volunteering opportunities in the vineyard. Forty Hall'aim to improve mental and physical health through working outdoors in a green environment, being socially connected and engaged with horticultural activity and the production of the wines.

Data protection

Soil Association and Innovative Farmers take data protection very seriously and will only collect essential data from participants. Personal data will not be shared with any third party organisations without your expressed permission and will only be used in conjunction with this event. Under data protection law, we must give you information about the bases we are relying on to process your personal information.

Innovative Farmers privacy policy can be found at https://www.innovativefarmers.org/about/privacy-policy-and-terms-and-conditions/

The Soil Association's full privacy policy is available here: https://www.soilassociation.org/privacy-policy/

By booking onto this event you agree to the terms and conditions stated in our privacy policies. You can opt out at any time by contacting info@innovativefarmers.org

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Date and Time

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St Edmund Hall

Queen's Lane

Oxford

OX1 4AR

United Kingdom

View Map

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