A Topsham-based wine company has thrown open the doors of its flagship vineyard in aid of charity.

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Pebblebed Vineyards held an open day at its new vineyard and winery in Clyst St George to raise funds for Hospiscare.

More than 300 people turned up to enjoy vineyard tours, wine tasting, a hog roast and teas and cakes – and more than £3,000 was raised.

Owner Geoff Bowen said: “Hospiscare looked after a good friend of mine very well a couple of years ago, so we’ve got very warm support for them. They do a fantastic job and we were pleased to open our vineyard for them.

“It was a really good day, and the weather was kind to us. We were just delighted with the number of people around the vineyard, and we’d be pleased to do it again next year.”

It has been a mixed year for Pebblebed, with the company’s new winery now open but the disappointing summer weather having an impact on the crops.

Geoff said: “It’s been a very difficult year in the vineyard agriculturally, but we do have a small but hopefully high quality grape, which for the first time will go through the new winery.”

The grapes will be harvested soon, and as in previous years Geoff is inviting local people and families to help out by picking a few grapes while having a look round and enjoying a cup of coffee.

Geoff is also hoping that the vineyard’s Dragons’ Den investor Duncan Bannatyne may make an appearance at some point.

Harvest dates will be revealed nearer the time at www.pebblebed.co.uk

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