Welcome to Yearlstone: Devon's Oldest Vineyard!
Roger and Juliet White,
owners of Yearlstone Vineyard.
Latitude 50 Degrees 42 Minutes - the Exe Valley lies on an almost
identical latitude with the Moselle Valley yet enjoys milder springs,
and milder autumns.
Steep and thickly wooded to the north as the River Exe runs off Exmoor,
by the time it reaches Bickleigh the Valley opens out into a broad river plain,
as the River runs down to the regional capital, Exeter,
and then the sea.
Our vineyard is on steep slopes around 200 feet above sea level,
looking down the river valley. With Red Devon sandstone breaking
up into shale, and hills on three sides, we have a natural amphitheatre
where light levels are high.
In summer, early morning mists rise up from the riverbed creating a
subtropical effect but burn off by midday.
Even in peak summer this part of mid-Devon is sleepy and quiet, apart
from the sounds of various birds of prey and corks popping in the
A perfect stopping off point on a long journey turning off the
motorway, Bickleigh itself is a noted beauty spot with thatched pubs on
the riverfront, although the best food and wine is on offer at the
Here's a couple of recent reviews:
We went for a wine tasting recently and had a thoroughly educational tour of the vines, the machinery and the wines too. The time of year i feel may deter how the tour progresses but was good and learnt lots whilst trying some subtle English wines and Sparklings. The tour lasts for around 2 hours and Roger and Juliet are very welcoming and pleasurable people who have obviosly worked very hard too with what they have done over the years. The gift shop with wines etc. is just inside the door so worth looking at purchasing some bottles before leaving but you must stay and try a lunch, it has to be said one of the best 'bistro' style lunches i have had, very good selection of items, highest quality worthy of any top restaurant, very very good.
Went a couple of times in late summer to this lovely spot, up a narrow drive set high above Bickleigh. It is worth phoning to book and sample their home cooked meals and very good wines. We particularly recommend one of their own wines - a stunning red for the price, called
on their wine list!
Newsflash: Special Xmas Openings
Although the Vineyard and Café are generally closed,
we are opening the
Yearlstone Vineyard Shop
from Nov 26
until Dec 18th.
Vineyard & Café CLOSED from Dec 19th until Spring 2018
After our Xmas openings finish,
Yearlstone Vineyard and the Yearlstone Café will be
CLOSED until Spring 2018.
Yes: 2018 - That's not a typo!
Yearlstone vineyard, shop and café will not be open at all in 2017
while we do some major building works to the winery.
But you can still pop up to buy our wines - by appointment please.
You can contact us by email:
or by phone (01884 855700).
Our Online Shop
will still be open 24 hours a day, and
our Many Regular Stockists stock many of our wines.
October Update: News from the Vineyard
We are delighted to announce new deals with two new stockists:
Full contact details for both
can be found in the
Nation Wide section of our Stockists page.
The 2016 vintage was good and bad in parts:
There was almost no Pinot Noir, and very little Pinot Gris.
But reasonable crops of Rondo, Madeleine Angevine and Seyval Blanc.
Sugars were high, but strangely despite the warm summer and autumn weather
acidities were normal, whereas we might have expected them to be low.
The season was a difficult one for both powdery and downy mildews - not helped by
the breakdown of our David Brown 880 vineyard tractor for a good part of the spraying period.
Most impressed by an Ottery grower who harvested Siegerrebe, Rondo
and (less impressively) Seyval without any spray programme - just a lot of handwork.
Stocks of wines remain high after the good run from 2013-2015.
Other new outlets include the wonderful Michelin starred Masons Arms at Knowstone,
the Swan in Bampton and North Devon's top seafood restaurant Fat Belly Freds in Barnstaple.
Our 3 Food and Wine Club events this year, in May, June and July, went really well.
Yearlstone red (Number 4)
was featured in the South West chef of the year competition held in Exeter.
Our red was selected for their mystery basket of ingredients in the finals.
Yearlstone Number 5 dry white wine
won a bronze medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition
in London in autumn 2015.
The Judges said: "White flowers with a fresh citrus vibrant finish. refreshing."
Getting to the Vineyard
Leave the M5 at Junction 27 - proceed along the link road to Tiverton.
Then follow the signs for the A396 Bickleigh/Exeter for about 3 miles,
then watch for the Vineyard brown tourist sign pointing up a hill.
Drive up the hill (Seven Crosses Road) for about a quarter mile,
bearing to the right at a junction, then 100 yards later on, turn
left into the access road for the vineyard. It's clearly marked
Yearlstone Vineyard. Follow on along, swoop down a concrete road,
then up to the vineyard carpark.
The following google map shows it nicely:
Our friend Markus Kinch of Film 41
has published several Yearlstone web movies on YouTube:
Click here for large-screen versions of all the Web Movies
including Yearlstone features on TV - visits from Oz Clarke, BBC Countryfile and BBC1's "The Great British Summer".
Roger On Twitter
Roger has been tweeting for a couple of years, here we are: