Vineyard to create new tasting and tour area to showcase Suffolk grapes
- 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.
"We planted the vineyard in 2017 and 2018," said James Scarff.
"We have 20 acres and 45,000 vines.
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"It's a big vineyard."
All the grapes grown in Suffolk are then sent to Ridgeview in East Sussex where they are then turned into wine.
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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.
"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.
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."
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.