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Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor to plant a vineyard this April

Lympstone Manor is excited to announce the planting of a vineyard within the beautiful 28-acre estate on the East Devon Exe estuary this April, marking their one-year anniversary since opening.

Inspired by the outstanding quality of wines produced from grapes grown in Devon, as well as the ideal south-west facing position of the grounds, the team will be planting approximately 18,000 vines to produce classic champagne-method sparkling wines. The microclimate at the site is particularly suited to growing grapes, falling within the top 5% in the entire country, putting it on par with some of the best sparkling wine producers in the UK.

Owner and acclaimed chef Michael Caines comments, “From the first time I viewed the property in July 2014, my intention was to establish a vineyard on the site. The great vineyards of Europe are all located on rivers, the Médoc châteaux of Bordeaux on the Gironde, wine estates along Rhône, Loire, and Rhine rivers, the great port vineyards of the Douro. Why not the Exe estuary? Our climate is mild, and the success of other local vineyards has convinced me that it will be possible to produce outstanding wines here. Wine is a huge passion of mine and is an integral part of what we offer at the hotel, so I can’t wait to share our very own Lympstone Manor Cuvee with my customers.”

James Matyear has joined the Lympstone Manor team as Vineyard and Grounds Manager and will be overseeing the project alongside Michael and Operations Director, Steve Edwards. James studied viticulture at Plumpton College, East Sussex, before working for the multi-award winning English sparkling wine producer Hattingley Valley, in Hampshire. He will play an important role in the ongoing growth, pruning and harvesting of the vineyard for the eventual release of the first batch of Lympstone Manor Cuvee in October 2023 with the future aim to create still wines.

James enthusiastically remarks, “It is truly an honour and privilege to be a part of Michael’s vision and creation. Lympstone Manor is a magical place with inspiration around every corner.”

The appreciation of fine wine is already an integral part of the Lympstone Manor experience. Wine is very much a shared passion for both Michael and co-director Steve Edwards who have developed an impressive wine list for the hotel.

Steve Edwards says, “To think that alongside our already impressive list of wines at Lympstone Manor, in a few short years we will also have single estate examples made from grapes sourced within our own vineyard is both exciting and remarkable.”

There are two basement cellars comprising of 600 bins, as well as a wine tasting and dispense room opposite the dining rooms located on the ground floor. The tasting room houses wine storage cabinets alongside a state-of-the-art WineEmotion dispense system for the enjoyment and appreciation of 24 exceptional wines by the glass. There is also a sommeliers table where small groups can enjoy a bespoke wine tasting experience led by Head Sommelier, Marko Mägi.

Throughout 2018, there will also be a programme of exciting events and dinners, including a three- day ‘Festival of Vine Planting’ from Thursday 26th April until Saturday 28th April. The experience includes a three-night stay plus a tour of Lympstone’s vineyard with the opportunity for guests to plant their own vines, a picnic lunch in the vineyard, a tour and tasting of Lyme Bay Winery followed by a gala dinner at Lympstone Manor hosted by the head winemaker at Lyme Bay, Liam Idzikowski. Lympstone Manor will eventually host an annual ‘Wine Harvest Festival’ from 2020.

Lympstone Manor is a luxury country house hotel in Devon, which opened in April 2017. It has been restored and renovated by Michael Caines MBE, one of Britain’s most celebrated chefs and now visionary hotelier.