96 � squaremeal.co.uk
hen you think about visiting
a winery you probably
picture yourself among the
rolling hills of Tuscany or
the sunny vineyards of southern France.
Not Fulham. But that's exactly where
you'll �nd urban winery London Cru, just
a short walk from Earls Court station.
Creating a winery in London was
the idea of Adam Green, business
development director at Roberson Wine.
He hatched the plan with businessman
Will Tomlinson during an MBA course
in 2010, inspired by the success of other
city wineries around the world and the
popularity of the craft breweries and
distilleries that were already springing
up all over the capital.
e plan was not only to create a
working winery, but also to create a place
where Londoners could come to learn
more about what really goes into the
winemaking process - without even having
to leave Zone One. Australian winemaker
Gavin Monery came on board in 2012 and
the winery's �rst harvest was in 2013.
JOIN THE CRU
I catch up with Monery for a look around
the winery. It's open to the public on
Wednesdays and Saturdays, either for
short tours and tastings or a more in-depth
winemaker experience, where you can
have a go at blending your own wines
(see box below for details).
My �rst question concerns where the
grapes actually come from - as there's
a rather obvious lack of vineyards in
Fulham. "Our grapes come from all over
- Italy, Spain, France and, of course, the
UK," explains Monery as he shows me the
sorting tables, de-stemming machine and
basket press where bunches are processed
as soon as they arrive. "All of our growers
are organic," he adds.
Unlike other winemakers who are
based in a speci�c wine-growing region,
Monery's job is a lot more varied. "I get
to work with grapes from really dierent
areas; that's been fantastic for me," he says.
It also turns into a logistical nightmare
during harvest, when his job becomes a
very real race against time.
"I normally go out and visit the
vineyards twice a year: just before ripening
to get an idea of quality, and then I y out
and supervise picking during harvest,"
says Monery. Grapes are immediately put
into refrigerated trucks and will arrive at
London Cru within 36 hours. "When the
PLAN YOUR VISIT
London Cru o
ers two types of tour,
held at a selection of times every
Wednesday and Saturday.
MEET THE CRU
Learn how a winery works and find out
about the winemaking process, from the
delivery of grapes to sorting, crushing,
pressing, fermenting and the use of oak
barrels. Includes a tasting at the end of
the tour (60-90 minutes). £15
WINEMAKER FOR A DAY
Take a tour of the winery and find
out about the winemaking process.
Taste wines in tank and barrel, then
you'll have the opportunity to try
blending your own wines, which
will be bottled for you to take home.
Includes lunch (five hours). £125
To book, visit: londoncru.co.uk
London Cru, 21-27 Seagrave Road,
SW6 1RP; 020 7381 7871
LONDON Did you know there's a working winery in the heart of the capital?
Squaremeal visits London Cru WORDS JULIE SHEPPARD