Inside the Gloucestershire vineyard that's just harvested its first Chardonnay grape

  • Watch: ITV West Country's Ken Goodwin went for a tour around the vineyard

A vineyard has harvested its first Chardonnay grape after planting the vine to adapt to the changing climate.

Three Choirs Vineyard, in Gloucestershire, planted their first vines fifty years ago, but since then climate change has influenced many of their decisions.

This year they carried out a major replanting project, replacing 12 of their 50 acres.

Directors at the Newent vineyard said the varieties they are choosing to replace with are different to those that were planted originally.

The vineyard will be taking out earlier varieties that are now ripening too early and replacing them with varieties, like Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The vineyard is one of the oldest in the UK

This is due to a combination of climate change, advancing technology and market demands, they said.

"We have to make sure that we plant the right things, so we've looked very closely over the last few years and we feel that Chardonnay especially, and Pinot Noir, are well worth it," said Martin Fourke, Winemaking Director at Three Choirs.

He added: "They weren't suitable in the early days. They take a little bit longer to ripen and to get the quality that we want, so it wasn't going to be a sure thing every year.

Mr Fourke said it is a "misconception" that warmer temperatures are a positive thing for English wine-makers.

"People think we are fans of global warming because the warmer weather is like a battery for the vines, but English wine is renowned for its delicacy, its purity of flavour, and it would be a great shame if we lost that," he said.

"The beauty of English wine is the warm Indian summer that allows nice gentle ripening and gives a very pure, gentle fruit," he added.

Three Choirs — one of England's oldest vineyards — is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The first vines were planted by local wine retailer Alan McKechnie in 1973, who only planted half an acre to see how the vines would grow.

Now, the vineyard has 75 acres growing a variety of different grapes.