Forget vintage vineyards in France, Horncastle can now say it is a producer of wine with grapes grown at one of the town’s hotels.
Robert Poole has tended to plants at the Admiral Rodney Hotel, in North Street, and has also looked after the grapes which are grown in the hotel’s courtyard.
The wine, named ‘Chablis de Bouledogue’ after the Bulldog Hotel group which owns the Admiral Rodney, has been over two years in the making.
Robert has been a volunteer gardener at the hotel for over a decade and came up with the idea to turn the grapes in to wine.
“I’ve been coming here for 14 years,” Robert said. “And there has always been grapes in the courtyard.
“Eight years ago, I was asked if I wanted to take over looking after the plants and baskets in the hotel and that included the grapes too.
“We had five bottles of the wine made and I’m absolutely chuffed with how it came out.”
Lee Melton, Assistant Manager at the hotel, described the wine as having a very British flavour.
“It is a lovely wine with a lot of British flavour, with hints of apple and other cold weather fruits,” he said.
“It’s great to see an end product after all Mr Poole’s hard work.
“He comes in every morning to look after the plants and it’s great for him and for the hotel that he has been able to have this wine produced.
Out of the five bottles, one of them was given to Bulldog Hotel Group’s Managing Director Kevin Charity who was said to be delighted with the wine.
The wine has been made by Malcolm Bilbrough.
“A lot of people would think that the grapes currently in the courtyard area are ready to be used,” Robert said.
“But they are still green at the moment, they will eventually turn red and will be ready.
“As long as I’m in charge of looking after the grapes, it’s something that I’ll carry on doing. I’m really pleased with the end result.”
Could we soon be seeing the finished product on the hotel’s wine list?
“It’s something that we would love to show off on a special evening if we had enough of it made,” Lee said.