The northern side of the Crouch Valley with its south-facing slopes, has, over the last few years, seen a dramatic expansion of the winery business.

The area’s maritime climate, coupled with the effects of global warming, helps minimise the number and severity of frosts in the spring.

Some local vineyards

Newhall Vineyard in Purleigh, established in 1969. This is the oldest and largest family-run vineyard in the region. It has been awarded the UK’s Winemaker of the Year, a national honour.

Clayhill Vineyard, at Grange Farm, Latchingdon, was planted in 2006 and is family-run.

Great Whitmans Vineyard is on Hackmans Lane west of Cold Norton.

Martins Lane Vineyard between South Woodham Ferrers and Stow Maries, was planted in 2009.

Crouch Ridge Vineyard, At Althorne Hall Farm, was planted in 2012, and is a family-run vineyard.