Coggeshall: Wine centre up for design award

Jane Mahon, owner of West St Vineyards, Coggeshall, in the mezzanine level of the visitor centre.

Jane Mahon, owner of West St Vineyards, Coggeshall, in the mezzanine level of the visitor centre. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

AN INNOVATIVE wine tasting centre in Essex has been shortlisted for an award - before it’s even opened.

Coggeshall’s West Street Vineyard impressed judges from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for their custom-built and environmentally friendly barn during their visit earlier this month.

The centre, which will showcase wines from East Anglia and the rest of the country, features light fittings made from recycled wine bottles and recycling cardboard as underfloor heating.

Husband and wife owners Stephen and Jane Mohan purchased the boutique micro-vineyard in 2009 and the couple has expanded the site from 800 vines to cover a 5.5 acre estate.

Mrs Mohan said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted as we’re not even open yet.

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“The award is about how a building is used and how efficient it is, not just about how pretty they look. Our building is innovative in what it tries to do.

“It’s a regional wine centre which is completely unique to England.”

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The barn is built from glass and timber and has a natural slate roof to blend in with the surrounding landscape.

Mr and Mrs Mohan will find out if they have won the RICS Award in May.

The centre will also bring a welcome boost to the local economy, employing 20 people from the Braintree district.

In addition to offering educational wine courses for enthusiasts and tasting days, West Street Vineyards will serve afternoon tea, lunch and gourmet dinners in the evening.

The official opening will take place on April 23.

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