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Chris Wilson unveils details of new urban winery

Published:  01 September, 2020

Winemaker and wine journalist Chris Wilson has announced his much talked about Cambridge urban winery will start production this month.

Wilson, who has made wine in California, Germany and the UK and who has who has an oenology degree from Plumpton College, said he will make a handful of different styles of wine under his Gutter & Stars label, using locally grown fruit from Missing Gate Vineyard near Chelmsford in Essex’s Crouch Valley.

The inaugural vintage gets under way this month with the first wines ready for release in Spring 2021. 

Using French oak barrels and small tanks, Wilson said his focus was on "quality, small-batch still wines". He aims to produce more than 2,000 bottles in the first year, with production increasing as the operation grows.

“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, techniques and beliefs along the way… I have a long list of dos and don’ts,” said Wilson.  

“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.”

Housed in the basement of a Grade II listed windmill less than a mile from the city centre, the winery marks a first for Cambridge and follows in the footsteps of city-based wineries in London, New York and Paris.  

“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,” said Wilson.

“I’ve wanted to start my own winemaking business for some time but I never thought that it would be in the basement of a historic windmill in Cambridge."

Chesterton Mill was built in the late 1840s and thrived for over 100 years on its site just north of the River Cam, producing grain and flour for the city’s bakeries, delivered by horse and cart.