A Taste of Heritage
Located in the heart of rural Essex, this little corner of East Anglia has an important role in the history of English wine...
The Middle Ages >
1120: The first vineyard in Purleigh, Essex was planted, and according to the local Parish records only 500 yards from where New Hall Vineyard is today. It covered three acres of land on the southern-facing slopes by All Saints Church.
1163: News of the flourishing Purleigh Vineyard reached London. It was then taken over by the Crown and commissioned to supply its wines back to London.
1207: Two barrels of Purleigh wine are ordered by the Crown (at a cost of 18s 6d each, less than 1p per bottle) to be sent to Bury St Edmunds, in readiness for the arrival of King John. In fact, Purleigh wine was drunk during the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215.
Stepping into the '70's >
1969: The first vines were planted at New Hall Farm by Bill and Sheila Greenwood. 850 Reichensteiner vines are purchased at auction at the cost of 23p each in Front Meadow. Hundreds of Railway Sleepers are bought for the trellis system.
1970: 2800 Huxelrebe and Muller Thurgau vines are purchased from Geisenheim in Germany and planted by hand by the New Hall Team. The vines need to be continually hand-hoed as self-seeding potatoes are growing uncontrollably between the rows!
1971: The first New Hall Vintage produced from just over 30kg of fruit. The wine is made and bottled by Mrs Greenwood in her kitchen (where she still lives today!) - a total of 18 bottles.
1972: The first commercial harvest at New Hall produces over 3 tonnes of fruit. The wine is made and bottled by Jack Ward at Merrydown in Kent as Mrs Greenwood could no longer cope in her kitchen! Bill Greenwood begins to extend the existing Cellar at New Hall House, to fit 40,000 bottles. New Hall Annual Wine Festival is held in the Cow Shed (now the Railway Barn).
That '70's Spirit >
1976: New Hall enters the International Wine and Spirit Competition and wins the Gold Seal for the 1974 Huxelrebe and the Silver Seal for the 1974 Muller Thurgau, beating entries from 90 countries. Bill Greenwood oversees the building of the new Winery and Press Room to facilitate the production of 30 tonnes of New Hall Fruit (approximately 25,000 bottles)
1977: The first 2250 Bacchus vines were planted by Bill and his son Piers. New Hall now supplies over 25% of all Bacchus in the UK and some of the grapes are also sold to other vineyards in Kent, Cornwall and Sussex.
1983: Piers Greenwood becomes the first Viticulturalist and Winemaker to produce the first Traditional Method Sparkling Wine in partnership with Mr Kenneth McAlpine (Lamberhurst Vineyards). This wine was made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown at New Hall and was a breakthrough in the English Wine Industry.
More Recently >
2011: New Hall wines get listed nationally and enter the national stage in the English and Welsh Wine of the Year award competition. New Hall Bacchus wine the Jack Ward Memorial Salver and two Gold medals and a Silver medal for its Classic Sparkling Brut 2009.
2012: After a poor growing year the national grape harvest produces only 1300 tonnes of grapes. New Hall and the other Essex vineyards nearby had an exceptional year producing 450 tonnes of grapes in total - over 33% of the national production. New Hall Bacchus wins the Berwick Trophy plus a gold medal and a silver medal.
2013: Piers Greenwood is awarded the UKVA Winemaker of the Year. New Hall Pinot Noir Rosé wins the Waitrose Rosé Trophy and Dudley Quirk Memorial Trophy. New Hall Bacchus wins the East Anglian Wine of the Year plus two gold medals and two Silver medals. An extra 35,000 litres of stainless steel wine tanks are added to the winery to keep up with demand.
2015: Piers Greenwood retires from New Hall Vineyards but remains an integral part of the business. He is taken over by brother in law Chris Trembath, keeping it within the Greenwood family with Chris's daughter Becki also joining the team.
2016: New Hall Vineyards is awarded the UKVA Winemaker of the Year 2016 and proud to produce wines that win four out of the six regional wine competition trophies. All together, New Hall Vineyards is awarded 2 Gold Medals, 7 Silver Medals and 4 Bronze Medals at the UKVA Awards, and over half a dozen Silver Medals at the EAVA Awards. The Bacchus Fume also wins a gold medal at the Independent Wine Awards competitions.
2017/18: New Hall Vineyards buys an extra 90,000 litres of stainless steel wine tanks to bring the total capacity of New Halls production to 250,000 bottles per year.
After two years of planning, New Hall plants the neighbouring Church Hill with a combination of Bacchus, early ripened Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Bacchus from New Hall and the surrounding Crouch Valley district has become increasingly in demand, and we are looking forward to upping our production of this unique variety. The Pinot Meunier, with it's aromatic intensity and fruity flavours, will be destined for sparkling wine. Lastly, the Pinot Noir is versatile, and its qualities of elegant red berry, cherry and cassis notes enable it to be used for sparkling wine or a still soft fruity red.
2018: After two years of planning, New Hall plants the neighbouring Church Hill with a combination of Bacchus, early ripened Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Bacchus from New Hall and the surrounding Crouch Valley district has become increasingly in demand, and we are looking forward to upping our production of this unique variety. The Pinot Meunier, with it's aromatic intensity and fruity flavours, will be destined for sparkling wine. Lastly, the Pinot Noir is versatile, and its qualities of elegant red berry, cherry and cassis notes enable it to be used for sparkling wine or a still soft fruity red.
2019: New Hall Vineyards celebrates its 50th anniversary, a huge making it one of the oldest vineyards in the UK. A huge achievement for a small family business. This anniversary marks the release of some special anniversary wines including the new Purlai Red 2017 (Silver Medal Winner), White Hart 2017 and Chardonnay 2017 (Silver Medal Winner)
2020: The purchase of a new larger press and an additional 37,000litres of tanks the gradual expansion of the winery continues. The 2020 harvest was challenging however over 235 tonnes of fruit was handpicked in record time. The newly released Bacchus Fume NV picked up a gold award at the 2020 IEWA competition along with a Silver award for the 2019 Bacchus Reserve.