Fenny Castle Vineyard is situated right on the edge of the Somerset Levels in the tiny village of Worth, close to Wells, England's smallest cathedral city. Owners James and Gill Cumming dreamt of planting a small vineyard on the steep slopes overlooking Glastonbury Tor when they arrived at the farm in 2005. Years passed and the idea was buried in the bustle of running a company, farming a flock of Suffolk sheep and bringing up a young family. Four years later James decided to take the plunge and enrolled for a Viticulture and Winemaking degree at Plumpton College in East Sussex and so began our journey into the wine industry.
We planted the first parcel of Bacchus vines in 2011 and the main vineyard of Ortega and Pinot Noir the following year. Five years on and we have a range of wines for sale. Ortega is our signature variety and in 2015 we produced a classic and a barrel fermented version. We have a still Pinot Noir rosé in an off dry style and a tremendous Pinot Noir sparkling rosé. 2017 will see the release of two fists, a Blanc de Noir sparkling and a Bacchus still wine.
Preparing this special site for the vines
Our main vineyard site is divided into two distinct parts. The top half slopes steeply and the rest is more gently sloping to the south. The overall site rises from 3m above sea level to just under 50m. The geology is an interesting arrangement of Tea Green and red marl with a layer of Celestine between the two. The hill on which the vineyard stands has an area designated as a SSSI because of this geology.
The site was deep-ripped down to a depth of 70cm, ploughed and power harrowed. Then 200 tones of cow manure was spread followed by two further workings with the power harrow.Lastly a total of 500 posts were put in by hand.
In early May all the site preparation was complete and with a small team of helpers we planted Pinot Noir at the top and Ortega on the lower ground.