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West Dorset Winery celebrate new tasting room
1:00pm Wednesday 19th September 2012 in News
One of West Dorset’s most sparkling business success stories is celebrating the transformation of a dairy farm into one of the UK’s leading wineries.
West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin was on hand at the Furleigh Estate at Salway Ash to open a new tasting room – and to sample the wines, which are getting rave reviews and a clutch of medals and trophies.
Owned by Rebecca Hansford and husband Ian Edwards since 2004, Furleigh Estate used to be a dairy farm and was Rebecca’s childhood home.
The vineyard on the 85-acre estate was planted in 2005 and 2006 with 22,000 vines. In 2007, the purpose-built 5,000 square foot winery was created and equipped and the company now employs five people. The tasting room, a former cowshed, is, says Rebecca, the final piece in the jigsaw. This year Ian was given the coveted UK Winemaker of the Year title and the crop of awards is increasing.
The couple sent invitations to the tasting room opening to as many people as possible, who had helped and supported the business from builders, plant and machinery companies, customers like MasterChef winner and restaurateur Mat Follas and Washingpool Farm at North Allington, which was the first stockist of the first Furleigh wine.
Rebecca said: “We just can’t believe it – this year is just fantastic.
“We want to show that great wines are made in this country.”
The average annual production of Furleigh Estate is around 60,000 bottles of sparkling wine and 10,000 bottles of their range of still red, white and rose wines.