Today we drank the wine from last autumn’s grape harvest and it was very drinkable indeed. We achieved this interesting feat by joining our local Urban Wine co-operative and pooling our tiny grape harvest with that of members of our neighbourhood. Read all about our grape harvest and the co-operative here and about the Urban Wine Company here.
As members, we got 6 free bottles with the label of our choosing. Seeing as it was Mr P’s birthday last week, I went for Pinky (his childhood nickname) Perot Plonk! It really does taste nice (dry, refreshing…very quaffable). Our vine is now in its 4th year and its nearly time to get out there and prune…
Below is a write up of the launch of our wine, written by a wine expert from decanter.com. Made me chuckle and highlights just how wonderful and amazing this urban initiative is. Have a little read…
Strictly speaking, this was a launch tasting, but the absence of spittoons, tasting sheets and Riedels quickly pointed to the warming reality that this was in fact a celebration, and an endearing one at that.
‘I’m a donater,’ one lady told me as she stared at my aerating motion. ‘I live on a run-down estate with guns and knives.’
‘When they came to my door to get the grapes (they had to collect them, I’m on benefits) they were amazed at the abundance of grapes on the vine.’
‘I think they were surprised I turned up tonight, they weren’t expecting to see me. But they remembered coming to my house.’
Chateau Tooting is the result of the Urban Wine Company’s project to make a wine from grapes found in the back gardens of London.
In truth, it’s an appellation regulators nightmare. Nobody I spoke to seemed to have a clue what grape varieties had gone into it and judging by the video of the crushing day, it’s probably best not to probe.
But watching the social function of the project in action, and all the would-be vintners comparing stories, was excellent. So too the boxes marked-up to go back to the contributors – ‘Chateau Clapham’ etc.
‘Come on then, what’s your score,’ the donator prompted. ‘I reckon 4 out of 10 – I don’t really like wine.’
Coppery tinged, and a little shy on aromatics, the wine was as delightfully puckering as the finest Grand Cru vin clairs. It had fruit of sorts, and enough acidity to be sure of still going strong by the time the 2109 vintage is bottled. Malolactic would probably have stripped it of its bright character, but perhaps the future for Chateau Tooting lies in dosage and a second fermentation.
I reiterate. This was no tasting. Thus, I admit, I drank Chateau Tooting and I enjoyed it.