THE VINEYARD - History
Vineyards had been planted in England since Roman times, probably with mixed success. During the Middle Ages much of the cultivation was for verjuice, wine vinegar for cooking.
A period of unusually warm, mostly dry, summers between 1284 and 1311, in which May frosts were virtually unknown, gave new encouragement, and the manorial accounts for 1307 record work on a vineyard in East Meon.
While it is possible that the vines were planted in the Berrygarden, a more probable location is the little steep-sided valley set into Park Hill 150 yards to the north-east and known to this day as Vineyard Hole. How long the vineyard survived is not known.
It was 700 years later, in 2006, that the present East Meon vineyard, 1 acre (0.4 hectare), was planted. By then the suitability of southern England for growing grapes to be vinified by the champagne method had been proved, and extensive plantings had begun to be made.