Treading the grapes in Greenford.

Horsenden Grape and Honey farm first planted their vines on a south facing sunny slope in Greenford about six years ago. This year the harvest of Solaris grapes was expected to be large enough to hold their first ever grape treading ceremony. As a “townie”, it’s not the sort of thing I would have done in my youth and I suspect a fair few readers here have never trodden grapes either!

About 30 people collected at the farm to harvest the grapes, with a haul of about 270 kgs! Then we had to remove the stalks and stems – apparently it’s not good to include them in the fermentation process. As you might expect, this took some little time. Finally came grape treading, and the first juices ran. The grapes will not be used to make wine at the farm (apparently you need a license), but will be sent off to a professional wine maker. We tasted a little of last year’s harvest – it was excellent, if a little warm! A BBC news team was on hand to film the proceedings and their item was indeed shown on local London news tonight.

The excitement of the moment made me forget about asking about the honey! As it happens there are a fair few apiaries in Ealing, but its always good to taste local honey knowing its been gathered from local flowers. Perhaps that Flax that is now flowering in the park?

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