Historic abbey vineyard at Old Warden opens to the public

Warden Abbey Vineyard
Warden Abbey Vineyard

A historic community vineyard near Old Warden will be holding an open day on Sunday, September 9.

Visitors will be welcome to see the bumper crop of grapes following the hot summer, from 11am until 4pm at the Warden Abbey Vineyard, on Bedford Road, Old Warden.

Jane Markham, vineyard manager, said: “It is a great opportunity to see the vineyard at its best. The exceptional summer weather has been fantastic for our vines, which are laden with grapes, so we are hoping for a bumper crop this year.

“We are currently sampling and counting the bunches to determine just how good the harvest will be, but we are all hoping for enough grapes to produce more than 3,000 bottles of Warden Abbey still, or sparkling wines. It is a great time to visit the vineyard as we get closer to harvest.”

Visitors can see a copy of the first ever reconstruction painting of Warden Abbey, which shows how the abbey, which dominated the local landscape, might have looked around 650 years ago. The painting was crafted by renowned reconstruction artist, Peter Dunn, after four years’ painstaking research by vineyard volunteer, Margaret Roberts, and a 2017 “Time Team” style geophysical survey.

Margaret will be giving talks on her research.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to join wine-tasting classes from Master of Wine, Derek Smedley, and join vineyard tours.

Warden Abbey award-winning still and sparkling wines will be on sale and and there will be more local artisan food and craft stalls than ever before, plus plant and vine sales, Wonky Donkey burgers, and a petting farm for children.

There will also be Morris Dancing and free activities for children. There is a small charge for tours, wine classes and history talks.

Admission is £3 for adults, children under 16 free. Free parking on site.

Warden Abbey Vineyard is a Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity project.