Ferring vineyard bids for longer opening hours

A GROWING taste for the grape has led to a Ferring vineyard bidding for planning permission to vary its opening-hours.

In addition to seeking extended periods for private wine-tasting sessions, the Highdown Vineyard, in Littlehampton Road, has applied to Arun District Council for permission to open on bank holidays.

Paul Englefield, who owns Highdown Vineyard with his wife Alison, told the Herald: “Bank holiday opening is being applied for since, as a tourist attraction, this is a necessity.”

Mr Englefield’s planning application says: “This is not to extend the opening hours to the public, but to allow flexibility for private functions such as wine-tasting and bookings ancillary to our business.” One of the new conditions sought is an 11pm closing time on Saturday nights.

He also told the Herald that enquiries about wine-tastings were coming “from all kinds of sources”, including for birthday events.

“Wine-tasting is a crucial part of our business, enabling us to meet local people to attract more customers,” he said.