Gripple chairman savours the fruits of labour at sponsored Sheffield vineyard

Hugh Facey, chairman of Sheffield companies Gripple and Loadhog, welcomed the chance to savour the wine processed from grapes cultivated at a charity-based vineyard in Sheffield which both companies have sponsored and supported ‘in kind’ since its inception in 2010.

The Werlot Vineyard - almost the highest in the UK and a hectare in size - is at Whirlow Hall Farm Trust which is a unique environment and educational charity, providing real farm learning experience to thousands of children and young people a year, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds and the inner city.

The wine - aptly called Steel City Rosé - is the product of grapes grown on more than 3,000 vines in almost 250 rows, each sponsored individually and all supported by steel posts and Gripple fasteners donated by the company.

This season, Gripple’s sister company and transit packaging innovator, Loadhog stepped in to help with harvesting and transporting the red and white grapes safely to Halfpenny Green Vineyards in Staffordshire for processing. Plastic boxes for filling, mounting onto pallets and then secured with lids, were loaned by Loadhog to make the volunteers’ job easier and faster.

Hugh, who is chairman of the trust’s wine club, paid tribute to everyone who backs the trust’s vineyard. “The harvest and crop management is totally the work of volunteers and we are also indebted to several other firms which have supported the initiative. The Gripple ‘family’ will always be happy to help.”

Martin Vickers, owner of Halfpenny Green Vineyards, said: “The Werlot Vineyard, although quite northerly and high, enjoys an open, sunny aspect and perfect soil conditions. The Steel City Rosé is delightful and has had rave reviews at our tastings.”

For further press information please contact Margaret Laver at Proactive PR on 07723 010 752 or

Tags: Agriculture


The Gripple VIT-S is the quick and easy way to manage your fruit trellising. VIT-S works directly with metal end posts and wooden end posts, and replaces difficult and unreliable chains.

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