Windmill Vineyard Hellidon


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  • Muller Thurgau
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Madeleine Angevine
  • Leon Millot
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The lost vineyard of Hellidon

Windmill vineyard sits on the southern slope of a 660' hill in the middle of Northamptonshire. Planted in the late 1970s, it passed through the hands of 2 owners before being bought by the Hillier-Birds in the mid 1980s. Previous owners had plans for the vineyard, but had neglected it to such an extend that, in Mrs. Hillier-Bird's words, "the only initial treatment for it was a vicious pruning with hedge trimmers". The half acre of vines responded well to the treatment and, in 1996 yielded 2.5 tonnes of grapes - producing 1500 bottles of wine- white and light red. In vineyard terms it must rank as the equivalant of Cornwall's lost gardens of Heligan.

In the late 1990's, the vineyard shop sold wines from all the commercial producers in the Mercian region.
The shop was on the ground floor of a splendid converted windmill built in the 18th Century and last used for grinding corn in the early 20th. Century. It was converted to a dwelling in 1978 - about the time that the vineyard was planted. From the upper windows are clear views of several counties of middle England. Sadly, it has now ceased operation.