WineGB’s Coronation Pledges
Maintaining the natural environment through sustainable practices
Two Beacons is a family-owned vineyard near the village of Colwall in Herefordshire within the Malvern Hills AONB. Our name is taken from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Beacons which are the most dominant hills in the range that form the border of these two counties.
We grow 4 acres of Pinot noir Précoce, Bacchus and Pinot Noir. Planted by ourselves in 2018. The small group of people who tend the vines use previously acquired skills from hop and apple growing, but we are very grateful of the advice from our excellent local agronomist. The extra help required at harvest comes from the owners, their family and friends making a conscientious and efficient team.
The initial harvests of 2021 and 2022 gave good yields and quality. A portion of the crops were taken to local wineries to making still and sparkling wines for us, the remainder being sold and delivered to wineries in Somerset and Shropshire. It is early days, but the results so far from our still wines are very pleasing with the Pinot noir Précoce vintage receiving a bronze medal in the WineGB West competition. This has helped lead us to the decision to plant more vines in 2024.
Two Beacons’ Pledge
We will maximise the habitat in & around the vineyards to provide a nectar source for insects, foraging and breeding sites for wild bird and bat populations. The continuous cover in the alleys and headlands have a high percentage of white clover. This is preserved by mowing high and is carried out early in the morning before bees start flying. We carry out mechanical under vine weeding and minimise herbicide usage. This approach has allowed low growing wildflowers from the existing seed bank to establish in this zone.
Wildflowers will be sown in areas of the new vineyard on headlands & uncropped corners.
There is good reason to believe that the existing seed bank can provide continuous cover in the new vineyard rather than further cultivation & use of seed stock from elsewhere.
The hedgerow boundaries will be variously laid, coppiced & restocked this winter. The stream bank at the bottom of the vineyard will be coppiced on one side, willow trees pollarded, veteran trees will be preserved & existing shelter belts maintained. A small wetland area will be created by slowing run off into the steam & a small pond reinstated which will benefit aquatic invertebrates & amphibians that inhabit small ponds upstream. Leaky dams have been created in the stream to hold back sediment in this section.
We wish to maintain & encourage the existing biodiversity in the AONB which is vibrant & extensive by ‘farming quietly’ & having an awareness of our surroundings & the wildlife that it supports.
Upper Dunsforth, York YO26 9RU