Vineyards of Monmouthshire: Sugar Loaf
The fourth and final stop on my tour of Monmouthshire vineyards was the Sugar Loaf, near Abergavenny.
This is the second oldest of Monmouthshire's currently active vineyards, having been established in 1992, and the grape varieties grown here are more traditional UK varieties, like Seyval Blanc and Reichensteiner.
They offer a self guided tour, which I briefly availed myself of, but as I had family with me it was just a quick dash. It seems the main draw here is actually the cafe, which is in a very light and airy modern glass and timber framed building offering great views. It's a lovely spot with some great views, spoiled on slightly by some unfortunately placed power lines. This is obviously a thriving business - thanks to the cafe this vineyard had by far the most visitors of any of the vineyards I visited on this trip.
We went for their wine tasting board and a sharing platter of cheeses (including, of course, the eponymous local Y Fenni cheese). The wines we tasted were:
- Calon Lan White 2017 (Reichensteiner)
- Abergavenny White 2015 (Madeline Angevine, Reichensteiner & Seyval Blanc)
- Sugarloaf Rosé 2017 (Seyval Blanc & Regent)
- Deri Coch Red 2016 (Rondo & Regent)
The second and third seemed to work best for me. I do seem to have a bit of a soft spot for Seyval Blanc which may partly explain that, and of the two whites the Abergavenny just seemed to have a lot more going on than the rather restrained Calon Lan. I think I may just not like Rondo as a grape at all, and the red here really wasn't for me.
The sparkling wine - "Hiraeth" - wasn't available by the glass in the cafe, but I bought a bottle to include in the upcoming tasting of Monmouthshire sparkling wines I'm planning.