Vineyard to create new tasting and tour area to showcase Suffolk grapes

James Scarff and his sister Catherine with their Pinot noir grapes at their vineyard in Combs.

James Scarff and his sister Catherine with their Pinot noir grapes at their vineyard in Combs. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A Suffolk vineyard is looking to add a new vineyard tasting and tour centre as it becomes even more of a family affair.

Scarff's Farms is an arable farm in Combs and has been a vineyard for the past four years, producing grapes that are used to create English sparkling wine. 

Having found success in recent years, the business is looking to expand with a new vineyard tasting and tour centre to help local people learn more about the business and the process of growing grapes in Suffolk. 

James Scarff and his sister Catherine, at the site of where their new tour and tasting centre

James Scarff and his sister Catherine, at the site of where their new tour and tasting centre will be built, and holday lodges placed, at their vineyard in Combs - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"We planted the vineyard in 2017 and 2018," said James Scarff.

"We have 20 acres and 45,000 vines. 


You may also want to watch:


"It's a big vineyard."

Sarah Purkis, crop technician at work at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs.

Sarah Purkis, crop technician at work at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

All the grapes grown in Suffolk are then sent to Ridgeview in East Sussex where they are then turned into wine. 

Most Read

Each year the Suffolk farm produces enough grapes to make 60,000 bottles of wine. 

"I think there will be a lot of people who are surprised that there is a vineyard in Stowmarket," he said. 

This new project is the latest in the progressive growth of the business. 

Imogen Gibbs, crop technician at work at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs.

Imogen Gibbs, crop technician at work at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"This is the third phase of our vineyard," said Mr Scarff. 

"We will be doing tours around the vineyard to show how they are grown."

There will also be a small coffee shop alongside this area. 

The farm already has planning permission for all its changes and is just starting to break ground on the new areas. 

Mr Scarff said the project was even more special because it would see his sister, Catherine, get more involved in the business. 

Crop technicians at work at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Crop technicians at work at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

He also said he hoped the tours would help people to understand the challenges of growing grapes in the UK's climate which so far this year hasn't proven to be helpful. 

"We are two weeks behind because of a lack of sunshine," he said. 

"It just delays everything."

Pinot noir grapes at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Pinot noir grapes at the Scarff's Farm Vineyard in Combs. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

It's hoped that the new centre will be open by August 2022. 

After that, Mr Scarff said that the farm would look to begin its fourth phase which will involve holiday lodges on the site for which the site also has planning permission. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter