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Urban Wineries


Urban Wineries, another new wine trend or just another outlet for hipsters, there is of course nothing new with wineries buying in grapes and making wine, some very famous wineries and vignerons have practised this method of winemaking for centuries.
But Urban wineries ?




I saw a few bottles from these guys a few weeks ago and have to admit I was sceptical. Anyone tried them?


London Cru was the first of those I was aware of - they make some decent kit, though I can’t speak of the others.

I suspect it’s more a bit of entrepreneurial fun, often with attached dining. I imagine the cost of space for a winery in a big city is vastly higher than it would be next to the vines. Not to mention the added cost of jetting refrigerated grapes all over the place, sometimes halfway across the world, though usually less far.

Perhaps it’s more like urban farms - they are not really about significantly adding anything to the food chain, but they are useful for letting people (children in the case of the farms) see what’s what.


I guess you can take the girl or boy out of wine country, but cannot take wine country out of the girl or boy…

I have been following the Urban Wine Company, who source their grapes from London. As soon as I have a garden I will plant some vines myself.


I think your comment is as near he truth as any, they all have dining as an extra and even rent out space for functions, for as you say the costs in a major city especially London would be prohibitive, I always take the “we source our grapes meticulously and continuously visit to maintain standards” with a pinch of salt for again the costs to a small outfit.

And the London one is in the east end area that has been yuppified so plenty of “natural” wine bars and all, so it fits in with the general vibe and follows on to the already established micro breweries that offer dining in London and this, in the same general area distillery.



I think I’ll pass… :thinking:


As you say, breweries have been doing this for some time, and breweries and distilleries are more frequently encountered in towns.

It also occurred to me that a number of wineries have successfully developed quite serious “destination” restaurants attached to their properties, most notably in the New World. Perhaps in bringing a bit of winemaking into town, these efforts hope to re-create some of that magic.


I think that is taking "field blend " to the max, I have a spare half acre of garden that could be planted up, though by the time it comes to fruition they will be planting me !


I’m a big fan of the Urban Wine Company’s Chateau Tooting. It’s a really interesting rose!


Finishing up my collating of all my wine on CellarTracker, I had a look at all the “friends” lists out of curiousity, it is interesting not so much in what expensive gems they have on there but each has an obvious favorite area they buy into, well most seem to…
But I noticed Robert thirstforwine had a bottle from an urban winery and wondered as there were no notes, has he actually drunk any of this yet.


I have not drunk the bottle I bought on my visit (it was still very young), but I did a tour of the ‘winery’ and tasted a broad range of the wines. I can’t remember if I wrote up my notes from the evening but I was quite impressed with all the wines in fact (IIRC). I will try to look them up


Found them!

My visit was over 2 years ago, so the vintages will now be out of date, but the range was quite interesting - these are my contemporaneous notes:

2015 Albariño
White Peach and mandarin on nose, lovely roundness of fruit, juicy fruit salad palate finishing with a tangy orange/tangerine finish. Tasty.

2014 Chardonnay
Barrel Fermented (BF) . Strong toasty lemon curd. Tasty high quality bf style with a slight bitter, stone note, vanillin. But hard to place.

2015 Chardonnay (Limoux)
Bf. More austere style on nose, but restrained and elegant in the mouth with lovely acidity. Still some toasty elements but fresh lemon citrus wraps the whole in a pleasant, tingling experience. Good length.

Syrah 2013
Juicy red fruit nose. Redcurrants, strawberry, raspberry, . Slightly wild tannin, with a green tang, so lighter and fresh, with a herbal finish. Very tasty and cool drinking, but a little challenging.

Barbera 2014
Forest fruit, with particularly cherry, raspberry notes, clean and crisp despite that ripe fruit core. Juicy and flexible. Lighter tannins to give some structure but not overwhelming.

Grenache 2014
Cherry cough syrup nose, (but in a good way). Cherry liqueur. Ripe. Lots of dark cherry and blackberry. A spirity note too. Good length.

Syrah 2014
Heavy glycerol. Ripe and approachable style. Hint of liquorice overlaying the ripe Forest fruit, round and pleasing. Fresh acidity balances the tannin so get decent structure and length.


When I had an allotment, I planted some Solaris, to try and produce my own wine. This was not a great success as the management of the vines was very time consuming. Solaris turned out to be thin skinned, although some nearby vineyards do use them.
Eventually, having surrendered the allotment and being a volunteer gardener at a National Trust property with a productive vineyard, I moved the Solaris there to sit alongside the Phoenix. The earlier ripening Solaris actually proved useful in being a sacrficial crop to wasps, thus preventing them attacking the Phoenix.


Did you ever get to make any wine from the Phoenix, @Ludlow_Steve? I’ve only ever tasted the grapes once, and if I remember it correctly the flavour had some affinity with Sauvignon blanc.


Yes. The National Trust used 3 Choirs as a contract wine maker. Mostly it was blended…the largest vintage produced 800kg…and that year the majority was Phoenix (try sorting out the labelling regulations!!)
However locally I know of Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, and Kerry Vale produce s/v Phoenix. (See my topic Vineyard for Sale…which is Kerry Vale)


I’ll be paying a visit to the Parisian Montmatre Vineyard on Saturday - I’ll see if I can pick up bottle!


@Nowt_in_my_glass, I’ve seen the vineyard but never took a tasting etc… what grapes do they grow there ? I would imagine if the weather is nice it would be fantastic to sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur drinking the wine overlooking the fantastic view of Paris ! Have a great weekend :+1:


I think it’s a gamay/pinot type as a review of the wine pitched it somewhere between the 2. I’m far more interested in popping to the merchants on our apartment block at just 3-4eu corkage with plates of charcuterie and cheese! Just a shame about the liquid limit for hand luggage!