Yarde Wild Winery specialise in making sparkling wild wines from flower, foliage and fruit that have either been foraged locally by Yarde or grown by them in organic local gardens.
Their signature drink is Sparkling nettle wine, which featured recently on Channel Four’s Devon and Cornwall program, where winemaker Simon picked stinging nettles from nearby Torre Abbey gardens in Torquay and transformed it into a sparkling wine.
Other sparling wild wines include pink elderflower, dandelion, blackberry, rose petal, lilac, gooseberry and gorse.
All the drinks are made using the ‘Methode Traditionnelle’ technique, used in the Champagne region to create the fine bubbles. They are made in champagne bottles and sealed with a natural champagne cork. Each bottle has the year of vintage on the label and it can take up 2 or 3 years before they are ready for drinking.
All the wild sparkling wines are made in tiny batches. Literally 266 bottles at a time! Therefore, availability of bottles in the shop is limited, and flavours change regularly.
In addition to their sparkling wild wines, Yarde also makes fine sparkling cider and sparkling mead, both using the ‘Methode Traditionnelle’ technique from champagne. The cider is made from rare, local, Devon cider apple varieties including Paignton Marigold, Tom Putt, Tremlett’s Bitter and Bickington Grey. The Sparkling mead is from Yarde’s honey.
Wild Winemaker, Simon Akeroyd, is a former BBC producer. He was Garden Manager for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and National Trust. Some of the gardens he managed include Agatha Christie’s Greenway, RHS Wisley, Polesden Lacey and Coleton Fishacre.
“Sip by sip Guide to Gardening” courses
Simon has written over 30 gardening books, and runs winemaking, foraging courses and garden experience tours, where you learn how to grow plants and then transform them into a delicious wild wine. These courses are based around some of his gardening books. His books are also for sale at the winery.
Discover the full range and find out more about the passion behind the ethos of Yarde by visiting their wild winery at Cockington Court.