A VINEYARD is being planted in London tomorrow for the first time since the middle ages.

Volunteers will gather at Forty Hall Organic Farm to begin work on a new 15-acre commercial vineyard, with the aim of selling bottles of the wine in local shops in a few years.

Volunteers will plant 1500 Bacchus vines, or one-acre’s worth, by hand and is looking for sponsors and volunteers to help raise the funds to plant the remaining acres of land. London has not had a commercial vineyard since medieval times and will be a social enterprise project run by Capel Manor Horticultural College, which has donated the land in Forty Hall Country park.

Bacchus vines take three to five years to mature and all profits from sales will be returned to the college charity to be used in education programmes on sustainable agriculture.

The vineyard’s creators say they want Forty Hall Farm in Enfield to become part of a “hub of local, organic food production,“ and will concentrate on selling the new brew within about a ten mile radius of production.

Vineyard manager, Sarah Vaughan-Roberts said: “We want to move wine production back to the heart of the local community and to champion quality, distinctiveness, place, sustainability and participation. We are also going to make really delicious wine.”

South-facing Warren Field, which looks out over north east London to the gleaming spires of the city, will become the “terroir” for London wine. The free-draining, gravelly soil, together with the sloping, south-facing aspect of the field makes the site ideal for vine growing.

According to the English Wine Producers website, Bacchus grapes are capable of producing “world-class wines” and have a “strong and distinctive aromatic flavour”.

Ms Vaughan-Roberts added: “Bacchus is ideally suited to cool climate wine production and produces a crisp, light wine white with Sauvignon characteristics of gooseberry and fresh grass, a perfect wine for summer picnics.”

Steve Dowbiggin, chief executive of Capel Manor College says: “Imagine London’s Mayor toasting the opening of the Olympics with our very own London grown wine in 2012! Our vineyard will produce a range of still and sparkling wines of the highest quality which express the fresh, light and fruity characteristics of the best English wines”.