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Drink: Raise a glass to new winery Gutter & Stars

Cambridge has got its own urban winery. Called Gutter & Stars, it's housed in a city landmark, as Velvet reports

Raise your glasses: Cambridge has got its own urban winery. Called Gutter & Stars, it’s housed in the basement of Chesterton Mill, just off French’s Road in the city, and is the brainchild of wine journalist and maker Chris Wilson.

Having made wine in California, Germany and here in the UK, Chris has long wanted to start his own enterprise, “but I never thought it would be in the basement of a historic windmill in Cambridge,” he admits.

“Having looked at a number of sites across Cambridge and into the Fens, an opportunity came up to house the winery in Chesterton, 10 minutes from where I live with my family,” he explains. “It’s the perfect spot for a boutique urban winery and I’m excited to be bringing a production facility back to Chesterton Mill for the first time in more than 60 years.”

Known locally as French’s Mill after William French, who began milling there in 1847, the sails and milling stones of the imposing smock mill turned grain into flour until 1955 when the French family business closed.

Sourcing grapes from Missing Gate Vineyard in Essex’s Crouch Valley, Chris started work on his inaugural vintage last month. Using a mix of French oak barrels and small tanks to produce the wines, and bottling and labelling on site, the first wines will be ready for release in Spring 2021.

“Working in the wine trade as a journalist for a number of years I have visited countless wineries around the world, getting to know winemakers and a variety of winemaking techniques along the way,” says Chris. “I hope to tap into this experience here at Gutter & Stars, but I also want to make my own mark and produce wines with a nod to the very unique surroundings in which they are being made.”

gutterandstars.co.uk launches soon and you can follow Gutter & Stars on Twitter @gutterstarswine

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