The Huws are the pioneers of Pant Du wines and ciders and are the owners of the most northerly vineyard in Wales. They have planted over 6,600 vines on seven acres, with a further 5 acres of orchard comprising of 2,000 cider apple trees and 900 Welsh variety trees from which they produce cider and apple juice.
Richard Wyn Huws and his wife, Iola, created the ‘Pant Du’ brand five years ago when they made the decision to plant the vines and apple trees. They now market their wines, ciders and apple juice under the brand and also run a café located on their farm. “We bought the 70 acre farm in 2003,” reflects Richard. “I’ve always had the dream to own a vineyard, but had assumed I would have to travel abroad. However, once we purchased the farm we realised we could grow the vines and plant the orchard, and it was then that the Pant Du brand was born.
“It is great to be able to live the dream locally, there are no language barriers, no travelling and all my family and friends are close by,” says Richard.
The site’s first borehole was drilled five years ago, and soon after Richard realised that water was going to be integral to the development of his business. “The water quality from the source surpassed our expectations. It is filtered through bedrock that’s over four and half million years old and as a result it is incredibly pure. “The water quality was as pure before ultra violet treatment as it was after, which was amazing to know.” Richard’s borehole supplies water to his dwelling and the Pant Du café. “It was a common sense decision to invest in a borehole.
The mains supply was metred and it would have been a considerable cost to the business. “Now, as we expand the enterprise we are looking to diversify into premium bottled water. This will involve bottling our water on-site for the local hotels and restaurants,” comments Richard.
He adds, “Visitors to the café always comment on how pure the water tastes so it was only natural to investigate he bottling opportunities. We’ve already invested in a carbonating machine which will enable us to produce sparkling water too.” As the business grows and the reliance on water becomes greater, Richard made a bold move to instruct the development of a second borehole. “I had no doubt about WB+AD Morgan constructing the borehole. We were thoroughly impressed with the first borehole they drilled, the level of service was first class and the after-care package has been fantastic.
“This second borehole has been constructed from stainless steel pipes, which prolongs the life of the borehole and makes it easier to clean, as well as fitting the look and feel expected for a high quality bottling operation. Once again WB+AD Morgan’s level of service has surpassed our expectations.”
Iain Waugh, Drilling Contracts Manager at WB+AD Morgan, comments, “Finding water was quite a complex operation. Due to the unexpected thickness of the overburden and fractured nature of the bedrock, the team had to install the steel casing to a depth of some 26 metres before competent ground was found, which made the drilling a little more challenging than some.
Yet, within some 13 days we had found water at 80 metres. Putting this into context, Iain notes that a standard installation normally takes four to six days, and water would typically be found at 40-60 metres. “Once we found competent rockhead the installation was straight forward and the whole process was completed within three weeks.”
Richard adds, “We are now looking forward to bottling the water and marketing to local restaurants and hotels, alongside our range of wines, ciders and fruit juices.”