Welcome to Avalon
The home of Pennard Organic Wines and Cider
We invite you to explore our range of organic English wines (grape),
fruit wines, mead, liqueurs and cider. Completely free of chemical
residues, these quality products are grown and created in
harmony with wildlife and the environment, deep in the Somerset countryside.
Avalon Vineyard was started from scratch by myself, Hugh Tripp, and
my wife, Hilary. Starting on just half an acre in 1981, our first wines
won awards in national competitions. Encouraged, we bought more land
to expand plantings and build our own winery. From the start we were
committed to organic principles. This was facilitated by our choice
of resistant ‘hybrid’ varieties of vine that do not need
to be sprayed with fungicide (which is something that happens even in
many organic vineyards). I was already a keen cider-maker, so we established
a cider orchard as well and inter-planted with soft fruit for the sake
of diversity. This diversification has been vital to our success. We
now make an extensive range of fruit wines, mead, liqueurs and cider.
These complement our Dry White English Wine and a limited edition of
Sparkling Wine, whilst the ‘scrumpy’ cider brings in a steady
stream of customers to our farm shop. We have been enormously helped
in all this work by a steady stream of volunteers, known as WWOOFers
(Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms), from all over the world,
of all ages and from all walks of life.
CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
aim of organic farming is to work the land and grow produce as naturally
as possible. The stability of natural ecosystems depends upon the great
diversity of plants and animals and their interactions, so that for
example, predators keep potential pests in check. The natural fertility
of the soil is regenerated by the slow release of plant nutrients from
manure and other organic matter.
At Avalon Vineyard we grow all our fruit organically, without sprays
or man-made fertilisers. This non-intensive approach encourages biodiversity
and respects wildlife. We control weeds by mulching, hand-weeding and
keeping a ground-cover of grass, which also prevents erosion. We use
compost and naturally occurring minerals to maintain fertility. We respect
the presence of wild animals and plants, so we do not use any herbicides
or pesticides which might leave toxic residues, nor do we want any such
residues in our products. All our grass cuttings, wood ash (from burning
the prunings) and compost (including the straw waste from the cider-press)
are returned to the soil.
The wines are made very naturally, in equilibrium with the atmosphere,
which imbues them with a natural stability and complexity of taste.
All aspects of our fruit growing and the making of our wine and cider
are inspected and approved by the Soil Association, which is the original
and main regulatory body for organic production in the UK. All our products
carry the Soil Association Organic Symbol trademark which guarantees
their organic status. Recently I was awarded a plaque by the Soil Association,
presented by Monty Don, its President, for being an ‘Organic Pioneer’
– in recognition of my holding an organic licence for over 25
To keep up our environmental credentials, much of our production is
now powered by solar panels installed in 2011.
Our farm shop is open daily from 10am – 6pm (on Sundays 12 noon
– 6pm). You are welcome to visit and to have a free taste all
of our products – wines, fruit wines, mead, liqueurs and cider.
They are very special, distinctive and delicious. Our ‘scrumpy’
cider is in barrels and can be blended to suit your taste. Card payment,
cheques and cash accepted.
Guided tours are available (for a minimum of 10 people) if booked in
advance – there is a charge per head for this. Otherwise you can
do a self-guided tour for free with our AvalonVineyard Walk leaflet
– please ask in the shop for this.
If you are not able to visit us you can buy all of our products (except
apple juice and cider)
online on this website.
Hugh Tripp receiving the Organic Pioneer award.
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