Sidbury couple hope winemaking has legs

PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 September 2013 | UPDATED: 17:06 18 September 2013

Andrew Simmons and Rebecca Russell with son Daniel Simmons and their dog Buster. The family are looking forward to their first grape harvest from their vineyard in the Roncombe Valley. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shv 0570-35-13AW

Andrew Simmons and Rebecca Russell with son Daniel Simmons and their dog Buster. The family are looking forward to their first grape harvest from their vineyard in the Roncombe Valley. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shv 0570-35-13AW

Archant

A Sidbury couple with a nose for wine heard on the grapevine that English red, white and rose has got legs - and plan to bottle it.

The fruit at Rebecca Russell and Andrew Simmons’ Roncombe Valley vineyard is almost ripe for the picking, and the pair are keen to get crushing.

They hope to recruit a team of volunteers to help with the harvest and plan to work with established vintners to develop a range of wine.

“When we moved here we decided we wanted to do something with the countryside,” said Rebecca. “We’re venturing into the unknown – and need all the help we can get.”

The couple moved to the village in 2010 and juggle tending their 2,500 vines, a part-time job each, and raising their 18-month-old son, Daniel.

They are looking for volunteers willing to help harvest the grapes, which should be ready in mid to late October.

Rebecca, who works for a housing association in London, and Andrew, who works for IBM, are growing three varieties. They plan to sell the finished product to pubs and restaurants.

To help them harvest the grapes, email sidburyvineyard@gmail.com.


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