Taking its lead from the burgeoning craft beer and small batch distilling movement sweeping the capital, London’s first ever boutique winery is set to open in a former gin distillery in Earl’s Court, West London, this November, according to the drinks business.
The brainchild of the irreverent and adroit Cliff Roberson, founder of revered High Street Kensington wine merchant Roberson, London Cru is currently being kitted out with equipment, with its first batch of grapes expected to arrive in September.
Roberson’s senior buyer and Master of Wine student, Mark Andrew, has been tasked with sourcing hand-harvested grapes from select growers in Bordeaux, the Languedoc and Roussillon. London Cru will aim for all of its grapes to reach the winery within 36 hours of delivery.
Australian-born winemaker Gavin Monery, who has previously worked at Cullen and Moss Wood in Australia and Jean-Louis Chave in the Northern Rhône, will oversee the entire winemaking process, from the moment the grapes are delivered through to bottling.
“With so many people creating world-class craft beers and spirits in London, we thought it was time to do the same with wine. It’s going to be a challenge, but we have the tools, skills and experience to make top quality wines in an urban environment and the freedom to create the styles that we want,” Monery said.
The first bottling from London Cru is expected to go on sale next summer. Doors open to the public in November, with London Cru offering wine tastings and tours.