If you were hoping to add a bottle of The Queen’s wine to your wine cellar, you’re out of luck: it has sold out.
The Queen granted Laithwaite’s permission to plant vines on seven acres of land at Windsor Great Park, just down the road from Windsor Castle, back in 2011, and the first batch of grapes were harvested in 2013. The grapes, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, were then take to the Ridgeview estate in Ditchling, East Sussex, to be made into wine.
Three thousand bottles of wine were produced and sold in three-packs through Laithwaite’s, though they quickly sold out.
“It is fantastic to see another home-grown success,” said Juila Trustram Eve of the English Wine Producers in an interview with The Telegraph.
The Duke of Edinburgh was reportedly quite involved in the vineyard and wine production process, as he is the head ranger of Great Windsor Park.
“We’re delighted Windsor Great Park has proved so popular among our customers and we look forward to releasing the second vintage later this year,” said David Thatcher, Laithwaite’s CEO, in an interview.
A second batch of wine, made from the 2014 harvest, will be sold by the bottle later this year. It is available for pre-order on Laithwaite’s website for £34.99, and is listed as a Chardonnay-based blend, with an aroma of “delicate toasted brioche, apricot and citrus notes” and a taste of “fine bubbles with bright lemon, stone fruit and toasty length.”
Laithwaite’s is hopeful that they can turn the wines produced from Windsor Great Park into a larger operation, with upwards of 20,000 bottles produced a year in the next six or seven years.
This isn’t the first time wine has been made at Windsor. In the 12th century, Henry II grew his own wine grapes on the property.