More and more, urban based restauranteurs and industry affiliated folk are beginning to try their hand at wine production via the facilities of friends and associates. It’s a no brainer. To ultimately never have a hand in the winemaking process would be as short sighted (or foolish) as being a butcher and never stepping into an abattoir. Like any industry, wine’s ability to mesmerise and cajole us into whimsical times lies at the start of it all. If you’ve never experienced the process of making wine, you certainly will never understand it in its entirety.

The smell of flask-poured coffee in the vineyard at dawn. The sun rising over dew-soaked soils. The low rumbling of the tractors in the distance. The darting swallows. The freshly trodden grape juice, ice cold under your feet. The back-breaking efforts of punch downs. The relentless cleaning and sanitation. It all adds to the appreciation of the final product. And even more so when doing it for one self.

A recent addition to our Spitalfields by the glass list is an orange wine by a producer called Vigneti Tardis. This is a collaboration of like-minded restauranteurs and wine personalities in London, spearheaded by Jack Lewens of Leroy restaurant and wine bar in Shoreditch. His passion for wine and hospitality is not only palpable, but incredibly insightful and driven with purpose. Jack assisted Bruno Concilis with a harvest many years ago in Campania, and they’ve remained close friends ever since. Jack is now producing Vigneti Tardis with Bruno’s help. The Seme is a blend of 50% Fiano and 50% Malvasia. It’s skin fermented, partially barrel aged, and it’s delicious. I’m incredibly proud to be showcasing a beautiful wine developed by someone I admire and whose passion for wine is enviable and true.

Being based in London, wine production is naturally a little more hindered due to proximity to vineyards. But more and more, there is a paradigm shift becoming more apparent in that you don’t necessarily have to own real estate with a grand Chateau and cellar in order to produce your own juice. With the right amount of crazy ambition and a few well-placed contacts, the ability to produce wine becomes more and more conceivable. And wines like Jack’s should be celebrated for the resourcefulness of the hands that have gone the extra mile to make them a real, and bring them to our tables.

Stephanie Flanagan