Our first birthday! 🎂

1st birthday - grid

We've now been open in the vines for 12 months, and what a year it has been!

After the way the last 12 months has gone it feels more like a decade than just 12 months since we first opened our doors. It’s been a heck of a rollercoaster with massive ups and downs as we fought on through the challenges of covid but we wouldn’t change it for the world. We have grown to a team of 10 English wine fanatics, welcomed 1000’s of smiling faces to the vines and almost released our very first wine, grown and crafted all on-site. Join us below as we walk through some of the milestones of our first year.

1st birthday - building

1. Completing our new home

After nearly 5 years in the making, we finally broke ground on our own winery, kitchen + shop to only months later have the full force of Covid19 and lockdown one upon us. Luckily being a family of builders, Tom + Mike were able to keep going, it just put a big pause on our original hopes of a spring opening. But after months of hard work and tracking down sparse supplies, the old tennis court at Alder was finally fully converted into our new home ready to kick start our English wine journey on the 4th September 2020.

1st birthday - harvest

2. Our first ever harvest hit our new winery

One of the most stressful but exciting weeks of Tom (Our head wine wizards) life so far. After completing winemaking courses at the UK’s leading viticulture college and years helping out in other wineries and vineyards across Devon the day finally came to power up all our shiny new equipment and turn our very first bunches into wine. It was a week of firsts as our press, de-stemmer and vats all kicked into action. It was a lot of long nights but also a lot of fun and that feeling at the end of the week as you walked through the winery to see our very first wine sitting in our vats can only be described as magical.

1st birthday - lockdowns

3. Surviving 2 more national lockdowns

After only 2 months open the emergency breaks were put on in the November lockdown, closing us to the public yet again. But not ones to ever really stop we took on the challenge to test our creativity and Adam (Our head of creativity/cook) got to work. Launching our new range of gift vouchers that helped keep us afloat through to the much bigger January shut down. But we didn’t stop there, throughout the 3-month lockdown of 2021 we started our weekly winemaker’s platter home deliveries and rebuilt our online shop adding more gift options and new cheese pairing gift box sets. This period really put our adaptability to the test but we made it out the other side stronger than ever and feeling even closer to our fantastic customers that supported us through the winter.

1st birthday - Outside only

4. Reopening… but outside only… in April

It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, being stuck outside-only in what is usually one of the wettest months of the year, what could go wrong? But actually, it was a lot of fun. After months stuck inside both ourselves and our lovely visitors just wanted to get out and have some enjoyment, no matter the weather. From regularly emptying growing ponds of rainwater from the tops of our gazebos to 50mph winds quite literally blowing our wine and side salads away, it was another month of firsts but we had a lot of fun along the way. There was a lovely atmosphere of “we are all in it together”, enjoying the fun and laughing at the rather ridiculous things that came along with being stuck outside in April.

1st birthday - Summer

5. Our first summer season

Now, this bit has been exciting. So far this summer over 650 visitors have walked the vines with Tom on our vineyard tours and over 4,500 have joined us in our new kitchen. That feels amazing to say and it’s been even better living through it. Seeing our new home consistently filled with so many smiles, enjoying our food, views and learning about English wine with us. The place has developed a lovely chilled out and social vibe which was our hope from the start, we can’t wait to keep this going into the autumn with you.

1st birthday - Team

6. Growing our team of English Wine fanatics

We’ve come a long way from 4 people in a field on our days off tending to the vines. We have now grown to a strong and ambitious team of 10. Ranging from singers and actors to pilots, farmers and builders, our team is certainly diverse! It’s brilliant to be able to share our journey and love of English wine together and keep shaping our future as a team.

1st birthday - bottling

7. Bottled our first wine on-site

After his first year making wine at Alder this summer, Tom finally put our first wine into bottles. Another massive milestone on our journey to bring our full process on-site. Our 4,000 bottles of vintage 2020 are now all safe and sound ageing in the winery awaiting their upcoming release. Make sure you are a part of our Vine Club (Sign up below) to be the first to know when the next vintages hit the shelves. And they are tasting rather good!

It’s been an incredible first year for us all in the vines and we can’t wait to keep growing, sharing memories and seeing where the next 12 months take us.

 

Adam Birch

Adam Birch

Head of creativity
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Opening times

9-5pm wed-sun

Christmas opening times

10-4pm BANK HOLIDAYS

Welcome to the club!

We are so glad you decided to join us. We have just sent you an email to confirm your email address then you’ll be a fully-fledged member of our Vine Club.

Large table bookings

As a small team prided on serving freshly cooked plates we have a few restrictions when it comes to larger groups detailed below:

Please note a £10pp charge against a credit/debit card is required to book a table of 8+. No charge is taken unless you don’t show up on the day or cancel without 48hrs notice.

Tables 8-12 people – A pre-order (with allergy information) from our menus (click here) is required at least 1 week before your booking.

Tables 12-40 people – We can only serve our signature sharing platters for groups over 12. Please see our lunch menu (click here) to see our current platter range. A pre-order (with allergy information) is required at least 1 week before your booking.

Delivery costs

STANDARD (3-4 days*)

PREMIUM (1-2 days*)

*Please note days refers to our working days Tue-Sat. As we are closed every Monday. 

Sunset winemakers tour + supper evenings

Next: Sat 1st June – The ultimate evening with us. Discover our story + learn all about English wine. Followed by our kitchens take on a traditional paella cooked overlooking Dartmoor.

Alcohol Awareness

We love wine here at Alder Vineyard but it’s useful to remember that wine is of course an alcoholic product. Whilst wine can be enjoyed in moderation, it is important to seek help and advice if you think you, or a loved one is drinking too much. 

You must be 18 or over to purchase wine and other alcoholic products. 

Our Kitchen is well stocked with drinks from across Devon and beyond and proudly includes several non-alcoholic options. This includes non-alcoholic beers, gin-alternatives, mocktails and of course, soft drinks. 

If you think you, or a loved one may need help and support due to alcohol misuse, please use the links below to find incredibly useful charities and resources that can help you. 

Sustainability Statement

We are proudly committed to protecting our environment and the planet in any way we possibly can. Our ethical and sustainable practices are at the heart of what we do here. 

What have we done so far?

  • Introduction of ‘wild areas’. The garden of the Kitchen includes our gorgeous wildflower area that is ever-changing and evolving. We have also set aside a huge area of land below the vineyard which has become our nature haven. We are allowing mother nature to repossess this area, surrounding a beautiful stream. Encouraging wildflowers and native species to thrive on our vineyard land. 
  • 100% of our power comes from renewable provider Octopus, powering the Kitchen, winery and shop. We also use energy-saving light bulbs and other techniques to reduce our uses wherever possible. 
  • We source products and ingredients from countless local suppliers, reducing food miles and supporting other local businesses. 
  • We send no waste to landfill. 100% of our waste is recycled, reused, composted or used to make energy via DCW 
  • We harness a natural spring on the farm to provide water for tasks such as washing vehicles, vineyard work, watering plants and flower beds. We only use mains water for use in the kitchen and winery. 
  • Our own products are bottled in lightweight glass and aluminium caps, meaning our bottles are created, transported and recycled with minimal energy use. 
  • Our entire range is packaged in plastic-free shipping boxes and is delivered to the customer by our courier, APC who use modern, aero-dynamic, fuel-efficient vehicles that are regularly maintained and serviced to reduce carbon emissions. 
  • We promote the use of plastic-free packaging to our suppliers.
  • We employ a wonderful team of local people. Where possible we encourage car sharing, travelling by bike or electric vehicle. 

 

What else do we aim to do in the future:

  • Our goal is to add solar panels and batteries to our building to remove or reduce the need for power to be brought in from elsewhere. 
  • Another mission is always reducing our requirement for the use of chemicals in the vineyard. We have always refused to use insecticides, however we would like to focus on reducing the use of other sprays wherever possible in the near future whilst making use of ever evolving organic alternatives. 
  • We will be partnering with other local companies who can make use of our harvest waste. For example, our red grape skins will be used to make ‘Grappa’ for the first time in 2023.

Accessibility information

This guide is designed to make your visit as fantastic as possible and to give you the opportunity to let us know where and when we can help you with specific needs. 

Our entire building is wheelchair friendly and we will always endeavour to cater for any specific need or requirement. 

If there is anything we can do that is not mentioned in this guide, please do let us know by emailing hello@aldervineyard.uk or calling 01566783409 ahead of your visit. 

 

Level Access:

  • Our entire building is on one level, meaning you can get around easily with a wheelchair. 
  • You can park directly in front of the building entrance, on a flat paved area. From here you can access the café, our unisex accessible toilets, outside terrace, and the winery. 
  • Please note: If you are joining us for a tour, this does involve a walk around the vineyard which is unfortunately not wheelchair friendly. Due to the terrain of the vineyard, a steep hill and lack of hard walkways this is not suitable for wheelchair users or those who struggle to walk. For more information, or to discuss joining a tour which can be adapted to be accessible please email tom@aldervineyard.uk. We will endeavour to adapt the tour to suit your individual needs where possible. 

 

Hearing:

  • Our café is a modern space designed for the very best social eating experiences. 
  • We have a fantastic, self-made, playlist of music to provide a relaxed atmosphere whilst not being imposing as you are eating. However we understand that might not be ideal for some. Each speaker in the ceiling is individually controlled and can be turned off to make a specific area quieter. Please just let us know when booking if you prefer a quiet space and we can choose a table more suited to this and turn the music off in that area. 
  • We have invested in large, padded photographs for the café walls which are actually sound buffering panels in disguise. This, along with our chair socks reduces the sound in the café as well. 
  • There are no speakers outside, however the outside area is not covered so we cant guarantee this will be suitable on wet/cold/windy days. 
  • All of our team are trained to be able to help you as much as we possibly can. 

 

Visual

  • Our café is designed around full height windows and have dark grey frames to make them stand out as much as possible.
  • The walls and doors have high colour contrast.
  • Our team would be more than happy to read the menu to you if you have vision problems as well as answer any questions you may have. 

 

General

  • We have a complimentary ticket system for personal assistants or carers. 
  • Our whole team has been trained to help in any way possible to ensure the best experience. 
  • We have an emergency evacuation protocol in place for disabled visitors. 

We have your Booking!

We will check our availability and be in touch soon to discuss your private group tour booking via email. 

We have your Booking!

We will check our availability and be in-touch soon to confirm your table via email.

We are Covid secure

Yours and our teams safety is our number 1 priority. We have made a number of changes in the vines to keep us all safe. This is under constant review and will be updated when the government advice changes.

safe travels

We have been verified by Visit England as ‘Good to go’

Social distancing

Please keep to a 2m distance when you visit. We have set all our tables at least 1.5m apart and do recommend face coverings in all indoor areas. Our team will still be wearing face covering when around you too.

Tables size limits

To continue to keep us safe in the vines we are keeping our tables limited to 10 people. We can accommodate larger groups but please get in touch to discuss any 10+ bookings with us.

Hand washing & cleaning

We have introduced a number of hand cleaning stations and guests are required to use hand sanatisor on entry. Our team are washing their hands between each customer and we are disinfecting all tables and chairs between use.

Payment

We are offering table service in the kitchen and advice using contactless or card payments where possible.

We have your Booking!

We will check our availability and be in-touch soon to confirm your table via email.

Booking for today?
Please call us on 01566 783 409 as we may not get to your email in time. 

We have your entry!

We’ve got our fingers crossed for you. We will send you an email to confirm your entry and we will be back in touch once the competition closes. Good luck!

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