BlackBook Winery –Battersea London.
Spend your Saturday evening at one of the country’s best urban wineries, without leaving the London borough.
BlackBook winery is located just outside the Queenstown Road Station, in a once disused Battersea railway arch. Now it is home to one of London’s best urban wineries. Run by Sergio Verrillo and his wife Lynsey, they focus on creating exceptional wines from single site English vineyards - which are all situated within a 2-hours drive from the winery. Each vineyard is proudly highlighted on the label to showcase the quality of the growers and of the sites. This is a winery with real heart and soul. Sergio focuses on quality with an extraordinary sense of experimentation. London is key to the operation and each of the wines gives a nod to where it was made.
Visiting an urban winery is the perfect opportunity to explore something new, whilst being able to leave your wellies at home! Instead of the traditional vineyard setting surrounded by fields of vines, you are greeted by the rattling sound of trains and honking of white vans. However, this is what makes it feel special, it feels urban, local and part of the city.
During harvest, the grapes are quickly transported to the winery and the processing can begin. Oak barrels line the walls, as using wood is an integral part of the BlackBook’s ethos. The texture of the wine, which is so commonly forgotten, is really focussed on here. There is a great depth to each of the wines through careful and thoughtful winemaking. He uses a mixture of techniques including indigenous fermentations (not adding cultured yeast) to make each wine unique.
Their most recent launch is the born and bred Londoner, ‘Tamesis’. This is the first wine to be grown and made within the London area and it is aptly named after the Roman word for the River Thames. It is made from the grape variety Bacchus, an increasingly popular English star, and the modern label reflects Bacchus the Roman God of wine. These clever twists add to the story, but it is what is inside the glass that really matters. Floral honeysuckle, lime and crisp green apples are balanced with a long and elegant finish. It really is a joy to drink, but you will have to be quick as only a 1000 bottles were made for this limited edition.
This isn’t the only interesting wine available. Their core range consists of the more classic grape varieties Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The ‘I’d Rather Be A Rebel’ rosé bursts with wild strawberries and will be popular with any crowd. Sergio has also added one sparkling wine to the collection. The ‘GMF’, produced from the grape variety Seyval Blanc, has been left intentionally cloudy to add to the character of the wine.
The BlackBook winery opens every Saturday at 5 p.m. The tour and tasting (£15) are run by Sergio and takes you on a journey of the story of BlackBook’s- how it started and the future of the winery. You will be immersed in urban winery life and get to taste a range of wines created in the railway arch.
Want to get more involved? As a small operation, it is also possible to volunteer during busier periods. It is an excellent opportunity to explore all sides of winemaking and discover something new right on the doorstep of London.