A countryside park which was once a hunting ground for the nobility has produced a vintage to match its proud history.

Volunteers at Cranford Park, beside the A316 on the borders of Hounslow and Hillingdon boroughs, have made what they claim is the park's first wine.

They collected grapes from a 100-year-old vine in the former kitchen courtyard of the long-demolished Cranford House, now home to the park's secret garden, last September.

One of the volunteers then gave them to their father, a keen vintner, who worked his magic to create what members of Cranford Park Friends have dubbed Chateau Cranford.

Bottles of the wine produced from grapes grown in Cranford Park
 

Bob Barton, chairman of the friends group, described the 9.5 per cent volume wine as 'very moreish'.

"As far as we are aware this is the first wine ever produced from the park's grapes. Though the old cellars of Cranford House still contain wine vaults used by the earls of Berkeley for lavish entertaining, we believe all their wine was imported. Ours is a lovely medium white: fruity with a floral bouquet, and at 9.5 per cent ABV, very moreish," he said.

But members of the public will have to wait until a family fun day early next month to judge for themselves.

The tipple, which is being stored off-site, will be available exclusively at Cranford Park Remembers, on Saturday, August 2, when costumed characters and storytelling sessions will help transport visitors back to days of the Berkeleys, who owned the reputedly haunted hunting lodge for 300 years until the early 20th century.

The wine will be on sale at the event, where river-dipping for children and a tea garden will be among the other attractions.

This could be the last chance for to sample wine from the park as Mr Barton said last year's harvest of grapes was 'exceptional' and was unlikely to be repeated soon.

Before then, visitors will get the chance to sample some of the park's other bountiful produce, including Cranford leaf tea, on Saturday, July 26, during a guided foraging walk, leaving at 1pm from the park's information centre.

For more details of these and other events taking place in the park, visit www.cranfordparkfriends.org