McBride’s Retail Invest in a New Local Vineyard

Local entrepreneur Peter McBride of McBride Retail has invested in a new vineyard in conjunction with the MACCA Centre Mullaghmore and local company Pokertree Brewery.

‘My office here at our Mullaghmore store has overlooked the Macca centre since it was built many years ago. I took my daughter to one of the MACCA Center Summer Open Days a few years ago and I was shocked to see what was growing as part of their ECO project.’ Peter tells us.

‘I was amazed to find Grape vines growing right next door to our Mullaghmore store. When I asking all about how the gardeners could grow grapes here one of the guys jokingly said we should make wine… and It just made me curious to see if we could do it.’

On his journey to wine curator, Peter approached Darren Nugent at Pokertree Brewery in Carrickmore. Pokertree are a local business that creates Irish craft beers and ales.

When Peter approached Pokertree to help with the project, they were initially sceptical.

‘We were at first unsure about Peter’s proposal, we thought was it a joke? Our expertise is in craft beers and spirits and wine was a new domain for us. But we took up the challenge head on and we’ve been on a journey crafting this wine. The first two years attempts while partially successful, we knew we could do better and now we have finally got there!’

Peter tells us that there was a time he thought he had made the wrong decision. But after working tirelessly for four years with Pokertree after suffering many harvest failures due to the Northern Ireland weather, they have succeeded in their local grown vintage Vino.

‘We had originally planted ‘Pino Noir’ with some success, but found even more luck with Chardonnay. The vines are thriving in our polytunnels (we first plant the roots outside, and train the vines into the Poly Tunnel – getting the heat they need and cold & drainage that really establishes out plants)’

Gardener at the MACCA Centre Charlie McCrea has been blown away by the success of the crop recently.

‘We are hoping for a bumper harvest this summer as the buds are starting to buds are just beginning to form on the vine in the poly tunnels. This is truly the beginning of something amazing.’

Its been a truly amazing and rewarding project for both Peter McBride, Pokertree Brewery, the Gardeners and volunteers of the MACCA Centre as they now have collected enough grapes to master 60 cases of ICE Chardonnay & 20 Cases of our Pinot Noir. This will be available in selected McBride Retail stores and we anticipate a huge demand for this Limited Edition product.