Samuel Pepys was partial to a pint of wine and records, in 1667, how he enjoyed a local vintage, "I at Sir W.Batten's... and there for joy he did give the company that were there a bottle or two of his own last year's wine growing at Walthamstow, than which the whole company said they never drank better foreign wine in their lives". We're fairly partial to a pint or two ourselves and all for the eat/drink local movement so hoorah for Enfield's Forty Hall Organic Farm which this week began planting a 15 acre vineyard, the first new commercial viticultural endeavour in London since Pepys' time.
Whilst Boris was keen on feeding the Olympic athletes from locally grown produce we doubt he envisaged watering IOC officials with Londonish plonk but Forty Hall could change that. Despite our ingrained prejudice against the possibility that English wine could be any good, there are now around 400 English vineyards producing around 2m bottles per year and the English Wine website tell us we're even produce a pretty good rival to Champagne. Will 2012 herald a 'vinaissance' for London? Will we be showering our gold medallists in Vin D'Enfield? If Forty Hall need any tasters in the coming years, that's one Olympic related volunteering task we're well up for.