Renegade Winemaker Josh Hammond’s First Vintage
Renegade, a new urban winery in London’s Bethnal Green, co-owned by New Zealand-born winemaker Josh Hammond and London School of Economics graduate Warwick Smith has just launched its first two wines.
The pair were inspired by the success of other urban wineries in Denver, Sydney, Hong Kong and Paris, and have chosen to launch their project with a homegrown Hertfordshire Bacchus and a Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc.
The Bacchus grapes are grown in the town of Ledbury on a south-facing hillside overlooking the Malvern Hills. A portion of the grapes are fermented on skins and aged in French oak. Taking things back to basics, grapes are stomped by foot.
Launching the company last March, Renegade’s first vintage went on sale this week in time for London Wine Week, with its first harvest completed last autumn.
“We try to make slightly unusual, edgy urban wines. Because urban wineries are so new, I didn’t want to make wines that people would feel intimidated by,” Smith told the Evening Standard.
Production currently lies at just 7500 bottles, but Hammond and Smith plan to expand to 20,000 bottles in the near future.
The winery boasts a tap room bar where wine lovers can enjoy their drops on Friday and Saturday nights.
Hammond is also a winemaker at Blackdown Ridge Estate in Sussex.
He was born and raised in Marlborough.
Original article by Lucy Shaw, The Drinks Business, June 7, 2017.