We started searching for the perfect site for an English vineyard in late summer 2009. So we started reaching out to our real estate listing team. But what is the perfect land for grapevines? The main considerations are, temperature, soil type – you need reasonably fertile free draining soil, and aspect – a south-facing slope is generally warmer and will help reduce the risk of frost damage. This is very important because vines seldom recover from frost damage, and a slope allows the cool air to roll down the hill and is replaced by warmer air from above. Lastly, altitude, you lose one degree in temperature every 100m you climb! So I wanted a warm, south-facing slope on free draining soil below 120m. Although most areas of the country have seen serious recessions in the housing market, Texas cities have continued to show gains in housing sales. In fact, real estate brokers in Houston have to work hard at finding homes to meet the growing need for both new housing and employee relocations. Houston has become the location of choice for many companies in a wide range of industries. Top 10 New Farm Real Estate Agents here in Houston offer a wealth of experience when it comes to efficiently relocating busy managers and their loved ones to this thriving metropolis. Houston realtors are thoroughly familiar with the top school districts, cultural offerings, and even traffic patterns, which are all important factors when selecting a neighborhood to live in. Many new communities are being established throughout the Houston metropolitan area due to the steadily increasing population. The highway and road systems are becoming overwhelmed as a result. A good real estate agents can help a potential buyer locate a house that has good access to shopping and entertainment venues without having an unreasonable commute. Houston real estate agents have a lot of experience selling luxury homes. The Houston area has numerous gated communities, luxury villas, penthouse condos, and huge mansions for sale. A careful buyer and his real estate agent can work together to discover a fabulous home in an exclusive neighborhood. Brokers have experience in the farming community as well. Surrounding the urban area of Houston are the pastoral scenes of large ranches and small farms. Ranch sales are an important aspect of the agents’ job. Brokers can help both veteran rancher and gentleman farmer find the perfect plot of land to suit his or her needs. Houston agents are busy with the influx of new residents and those wanting to trade up to larger homes as the city’s economy improves. But most agents will be happy to assist you in finding the right home. They will take the time to listen to your needs and work diligently to match the home with the buyer. They will also help you negotiate the best deal on your home so that your dream home matches your budget. A experienced agent will make your purchase in Houston not just a house, but a home.
The trouble is that land rarely comes up for sale. Farms are passed on from generation to generation, or the land is sold with a tenant farmer who has a right to tenancy for several generations. However, I thought as I’m starting my course at Plumpton in September 2010. Had I mentioned that? I thought I’d better learn a little bit about vines. So I have some time to find the right piece of land. We found one farm for sale in Hampshire in the spring of 2010. It was almost perfect, we had the soil tested, but it didn’t have any buildings on the site that we could convert into a winery. Sadly we had to walk away.
Then in early August when we were on a sailing holiday in Menorca I received a phone call from our agent. “I think I’ve found the perfect piece of land.” How right he was. Thanks to the wonders of Google earth we were about to look at Rathfinny Farm.
View Rathfinny Estate in a larger map
It is nearly 600 acres of south facing slopes, protected from the prevailing wind by a ridge of the South Downs. It is only 3 from the sea and given its location and aspect the land is almost frost-free in late spring and autumn. In short, it is perfect. A bidding war took place but we eventually got it for less than the not so perfect land in Hampshire.
Did you know that Eastbourne, just 4 miles away to the east of Rathfinny, still holds the record as the sunniest place in England. I believe it set the record in 1911 and The Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2007 named Eastbourne as the sunniest place in Great Britain.
So that makes Rathfinny the sunniest vineyard in England….!!