Martin's Lane Vineyard

Martin’s Lane was established as a partnership in 2008 and is formed of a small group of families, friends and relatives, the majority of whom live in the village of Stow Maries near Maldon in Essex. The partnership was formed to acquire an area of steep sloping meadowland on the north side of the River Crouch estuary at Stow Maries with the aim of developing the site as a vineyard.

The area owned by the partnership amounts to around 30 acres and the strategy has been to plant the whole of the hillside site as vineyard under a rolling programme, which first began in 2010.

Because of its steep gradients the site had never previously been used for arable farming except for a brief period in the forties during the Second World War. As a result the meadowland retained a good organic top soil layer above the rich local clay and with slopes of up to 1 in 6 good drainage and high fertility were assured throughout.

The vineyard site is situated in a designated Special Landscape Area occupying south and west facing hillside between 20 and 55 metres above sea level with stunning views across the River Crouch estuary. Importantly for grape production in this country the site benefits climatically through protection from the river tides against spring frosts in a corner of Essex having regularly the warmest temperatures and lowest rainfall in the United Kingdom at less than half a metre per annum.

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Oak