Leventhorpe Vineyard, Woodlesford, West Yorkshire, England
Description: One of the few premier Yorkshire vineyards, situated near Leeds, UK.
Products: Mostly white styles, with a red and sparkling white on offer.
Notes: The vineyard is owned by George and Janet Bowen and has been cultivated with vines since 1985.
The site is at a low altitude with an average elevation of 80 feet. It is a south facing slope of light sandy loam topsoil with sand and cracked sandstone underneath, leading down to the River Aire, protected by mature trees. It drains extremely quickly and warms up rapidly in spring, giving the vines some protection from the extremes of the weather. Frost protection in spring is important, as the young shoots on the vine will not tolerate subzero temperatures. At Leventhorpe the site rarely suffers from spring frosts after the third week in April due to the topography of the land and its close proximity to a considerable body of water- the river, canal and lake.
When I visited George in the Summer of 2017 I found a first rate English vineyard and dedicated wine grower and viticultural connoisseur aiming to produce excellent wines of character and with Janet his wife to sell these to a largely dismissive public. When I heard about the awards Leventhorpe had achieved from the Mercian Vineyard Association and other accolades, I felt it was time for their wines to be more well known.