Grape News


Early signs did not look promising for 2018 when we experienced the very late cold spell reminding us that winter was not yet over, but come May we began seeing the first indication of what the coming summer had in store for us.

The early cold weather had delayed bud burst until nearly two weeks later than in 2017, but by the time we reached flowering in late June the wonderfully warm and settled weather had more than cancelled out the late start with all the prospects once again of an early harvest.

From that point on summer did not disappoint and early onset of veraison was further proof that harvest was going to be sooner rather than later. Varieties such as Pinot Noir Précoce and Bacchus were the first to be harvested in September followed by the ‘Classics’, Pinot Meunier and then came the Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir all reaching levels of natural sugar ripeness above 90 Oechsele, some as high as 97 Oechsele (potentially 13.5% alcohol).

The harvest was all over by 8 October almost the same as 2017, but some 2½ weeks earlier than in 2016. The results were magnificent though at Martin’s Lane in many cases not dissimilar to those achieved following the long warm autumn and later harvest of 2016.

Particularly pleasing in 2018 was that such elevated levels of ripeness were also accompanied by increased yields even after the ‘green harvesting’ we customarily carry out to ensure the absolute optimum condition in our fruit.

We are hoping all this means some exceptional wines again, in particular another release of our signature Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs (with just a few cases of the 2016 remaining), a replacement for the very successful 2014 Pinot Grigio (now completely sold out) and a follow up to the stunning Chardonnay we first produced in 2016.

So lots to look forward to!

Instead of our normal range of photographs from the harvest we have included a portfolio produced by two young ladies from Australia who helped us with the harvest this year. The pictures we thought were brilliantly captured and demonstrate how those from other parts of the world see our surroundings quite differently and remind us of the natural beauty we often take for granted. See what you think!

Martin's Lane Vineyard in the finals of Essex Food & Wine Awards 2018 Best Producer Category

We are thrilled that Martin's Lane Vineyard were selected as finalists in the Essex Food and Drink Awards Best Essex Producer category. At the awards dinner at Down Hall Hotel & Spa we were runners up in this category and would like to thank all our supporters and those who nominated us. There was some lovely coverage of this event in the Essex Life magazine with details of all the finalists and winners. We look forward to next year and fingers crossed we get nominated again!

Where to find our Wines

Since release to the trade of the first Martin’s Lane wines at the beginning of 2016 the partners have been overwhelmed at the response received. We are delighted to have been chosen to supply our wines to many premium restaurants in Essex, East Anglia and the West End of London.

We are proud to announce that our wines are now available in the following establishments:

London, West End

Bonhams Restaurant - located within one of the world’s most prestigious auction houses, Bonhams Restaurant is the perfect Mayfair destination where a blend of French technique and carefully sourced produce succeeded in winning the restaurant its first Michelin star within nine months of opening.

MASH Modern American Steak House - located in Soho’s Brewer Street, the restaurant’s breath-taking art deco interior makes the MASH dining experience an unforgettable one where steaks can be sampled from the finest beef in the world enjoyed alongside one of the great wine lists of the capital.

East Anglia/Essex Border

The Great House, Lavenham, Suffolk - set in the mediaeval splendour of the magnificent Market Place, this award winning 3 AA Rosette boutique French cuisine restaurant is regarded as one of the finest provincial dining locations in East Anglia.

Le Talbooth, Dedham - nestling alongside Constable’s River Stour, Le Talbooth’s stunning and highly prestigious riverside restaurant provides an unrivalled dining experience with award winning cuisine in an idyllic rural setting with fine views across the countryside of the Essex/Suffolk border.


Alec’s, Navestock Side, Brentwood – a lovingly restored former public house situated in this historic Essex countryside clearing, Alec’s has become one of most sought-after restaurants in this area of the county excelling in fish and seafood specialities within its extensive and impressive menu.

Haywards, Epping – situated on the edge of the historic and beautiful Epping Forest, Haywards has employed innovative and modern European culinary techniques using seasonal and local produce at its very best to create an unforgettable and unique dining experience in the most friendly and stylish environment.

Vita Bella, East Hanningfield - situated on the Tye in the picturesque village of East Hanningfield, this beautifully restored former public house is nowadays home to the highly acclaimed Vita Bella restaurant, an oasis of fine dining excelling in classic Italian cuisine combining local produce and supported by unrivalled service from its highly knowledgeable staff.

The Fox and Hounds, Ramsden Heath - Nestled in Ramsden Heath in Essex, this pub/restaurant was a finalist in the Essex Life Food & Drink Awards 2018 in the Best Essex Pub category. With their menu of quality dishes sourced from local suppliers, local beers and large marquee for public and private events, this is a fine country pub that’s going places!

The owners, Mark & Sarah Hood spent a day at the vineyard recently and were so impressed with what they saw and tasted that they are now stocking Martin’s Lane 2014 Sparkling Chardonnay and our still 2016 Chardonnay. They intend adding more of our range as they continue to progress.

The Green Apron Cookery School, Coggeshall - The Green Apron is based in the home kitchen of a beautiful 1870s house in the heart of the historic village of Coggeshall on the Essex and Suffolk border. Run by Leith’s trained, experienced caterer and home cook Claire Barham – the aim of the cookery school is to help participants build confidence in the kitchen and learn new skills – whatever their current level of ability. Using fresh, seasonal ingredients, The Green Apron also runs corporate lessons and provides outside catering for tailored events.

Claire uses predominantly local suppliers, and selected Martin’s Lane to provide the majority of the wines used to accompany the finished meals produced during the cookery lessons.

West Street, Coggeshall - set in its own beautiful vineyard surroundings in this most picturesque Essex village, West Street has quickly established itself as a restaurant of the highest repute winning plaudits for its ethos of fabulous local foods and the very best of English wines.


Due to the success and enquiries received for our wines limited amounts of each have now been allocated to retail sale and may be ordered by email through See our Wines page for pricing details.

Vineyard Visits

We have continued to receive enquiries about visits to Martin’s Lane vineyard, many from wine clubs and societies.

We do not have a programme of visiting times, but for those interested in visiting the vineyard please contact us as we are happy to organise something tailor-made for individual groups (normally 8 to 10 persons minimum). Click here to contact us by email or alternatively telephone us to discuss your specific requirements and we would be pleased to provide an estimate of cost.

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Martin’s Lane Estates (Stow Maries) LLP
Registered in England Partnership No OC337925 Registered Office: Trinity Street Halstead Essex CO9 1JE