Windmill Vineyard Hellidon

T & D Hillier
Windmill Hill Farm
Northants NN11 6LG
Fax 0181 891 8291

  • Muller Thurgau
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Madeleine Angevine
  • Leon Millot
  • Shop - open Wed-Sat 12.00-6.00 Easter to October (& bank holidays)
  • Vineyard tours
  • Winery
    Winemaker T & D Hillier-Bird
    Some winemaking at Eglantine vineyard

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.

The vineyard shop sells wines from all the commercial producers in the Mercian region.
The shop is 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. Currently the winery produces dry and medium dry wines , with the winery also producing fruit wines from the farm's own fruit. Cider is also produced from locally grown apples and crab apples and fruit juices and wines from other wineries are also sold.
The vineyard is signposted from the Banbury to Daventry road, either side of the village of Byfield. Turn off at Charwelton and the mill is clearly seen on the summit of the hill, high above the right hand side of the road.

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