Exciting year ahead for Halfpenny Green winemakers
A family-run business and top tourist attraction is raising a glass to an exciting year ahead with three expansion projects getting under way.
Work has already begun on the first scheme at Halfpenny Green Wine Estate, in Bobbington which is an extension to the popular restaurant.
It will enable staff to seat a further 25 to 30 diners and Clive Vickers, who runs the site with his father Martin and wife Lisa, said it had been designed to meet the demand from customers
"It has been born out of necessity. We are finding that more and more people are visit the cafe, taste our wines and have a bite to eat," he said.
Following a surge in bookings for wine and gin tastings, an outdoor balcony with seating will be added to the wine shop.
"We do group tastings in our function room but we've found the individual and small tastings have really taken off too. Our tasting area in our wine loft is fit to burst.
"We've got planning permission for a balcony which will be glass-fronted and south-facing so people can sit overlooking the vineyard. It will give customers an outdoor experience for wine and gin tastings," said Clive.
Finally, a successful growing season last year has led to a bumper crop and the need for more storage and production space so a new building to increase capacity will be constructed. This will be in addition to the existing 10,000 sq ft winery, which was built in 2005.
As well as making their own range of wines, the team also carries out contract wine making and bottling for around 50 vineyards throughout England and Wales.
"We had a great start to the year with milder weather in the spring and this led to a huge crop so we need another building to increase capacity," said Clive.
The site is also home to a zoo, farm shop, arts and crafts outlets, a physiotherapy and yoga studio and three fishing lakes.
The first vines were planted in 1983 and since then vineyard has gone from strength to strength with grapes now growing across 30 acres of land.
It has also been re-branded, changing from Halfpenny Green Vineyards to Halfpenny Green Wine Estate.