Vineyard toasts Suffolk Day with new wine

Charlotte Mills, owner of Shotley Vineyard with their new Bacchus.

Charlotte Davitt-Mills, owner of Shotley Vineyard with their new Bacchus wine on Suffolk Day - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Shotley Vineyard is toasting Suffolk Day by launching their 2020 wine, which has hints of elderflower.

The first limited release from the Shotley-based vineyard is an English version of Sauvignon Blanc known as Bacchus - which has been official rolled out this Monday. 

Shotley Vineyard's new Bacchus. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Shotley Vineyard's new Bacchus. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The 300 bottles of the 2020 release have dry and refreshing notes of elderflower, gooseberry and citrus, and is perfectly paired with seafood or chicken.

Charlie Haylock with Charlotte Mills, owner of Shotley Vineyard on Suffolk Day. Picture: Sarah Lucy

Suffolk dialect coach Charlie Haylock went along for the launch of Shotley Vineyard's Bacchus 2020 and toasted to Charlotte Davitt-Mills' success - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

To add another drop of Suffolk to the wine, Shotley Vineyard also had their wine bottled by Bury St Edmunds' Giffords Hall while the label was designed by Eye-artist Sharon Teague, Outflux.

Charlotte Davitt-Mills, the vineyard owner, has only been doing viniculture since 2017 when she bought the four-acre vineyard with husband Craig Mills. 

Sharon Teague , who designed the label. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Sharon Teague, Outflux, who designed the label for the Shotley wine - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

She had originally hoped to convert the fields into a glamping site. But after getting a thirst for tending her vines, she decided to leave her insurance day job and devote her time to this new venture. 

"I'm really happy to be doing it, it's just a happy accident." said Mrs Davitt-Mills, who is pregnant with her second child. 

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The restoration of the vines took some time but in the last few years, the couple has begun to have tastings and private dining experiences at the vineyard. 

Charlie Haylock trying the new Bacchus produced by Shotley Vineyard. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Charlie Haylock recommending the wine - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"It was lifeless and overgrown. So first of all it needed clearing and is now back to how it should be. It was easy because it's all been established between 10 and 25 years ago.

"People have been really supportive of us as they are pleased we brought the vineyard back to life. We've had really great feedback."

Charlotte Mills, owner of Shotley Vineyard with their new Bacchus. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

The Shotley Vineyard owner is set to give birth next week. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The success has also allowed her to bring on an apprentice, Toby Russell, who has helped her during her latest pregnancy to maintain the vines. 

Mrs Davitt-Mills will have a caesarean section next week and hopes to be back out "with her new baby in a sling" tending her vines.

"I do like to be involved with everything, to be honest. 

"We're also launching a new sparkling soon as well so it's busy."

Shotley Vineyard's new Bacchus. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Shotley Vineyard's new Bacchus. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

To pick up the new wine go to shotleyvineyard.co.uk/products/2021-limited-release-bacchus and for their other products see Suffolk Food Hall or other outlets for the Suffolk wine.