Byline: MARK PRIGG Science Correspondent
IT IS a world away from the idyllic slopes of the Continent and New World usually associated with many of the world's best red wines.
But a former rubbish tip on an industrial estate behind King's Cross station is to be transformed into London's first large-scale vineyard.
The owners hope the vineyard, which is backed by one of Mayor Boris Johnson's green ambassadors, will produce about 100 bottles of wine per year, to be sold at Acorn House restaurant in nearby Grays Inn Road.
Alex Smith of Alara, the muesli company behind the scheme, said: "We have a very sunny south-facing patch measuring about 45m by 8m, and we think it is the perfect spot for a vineyard." Mr Smith, who in his ambassadorial role advises companies on going green, has given over large areas of his firm's land to gardens. "When we moved into the building five years ago, the area was a huge rubbish dump and, being so close to King's Cross station at that time it wasn't pleasant rubbish. We cleared the area and turned it into a garden." After removing more than 50 tonnes of rubbish with the help of the local community, staff planted 50 varieties of plants as well as setting up three beehives and a company compost heap. "We looked at how we could expand the garden and this spot just seemed perfect for a vineyard," said Mr Smith.
It is believed Alara's King's Cross vineyard will be London's biggest. "In fact we have already earmarked some
FOR MORE INFO ..
www.urbanwineco.com www.alara.co.uk nearby land to extend the vineyard," said Mr Smith. …