Wantage area has been covered by one of the more thorough soil surveys.
Full details can be found in "Memoirs of the Soil Survey of Great
Britain - The Wantage and Abingdon District".
of the soil area map is shown below.
property used to be part of the Ham Estate. You can see the Ham on the
south west corner of Wantage. Our house and the vineyard lie just above
and to the right of the Ha marking next to The Ham. This shows the
vineyard to be on Harwell Series soil type. This is an outcrop of the
Upper Greensand shelf.
Harwell Series is classified as "brown earth" (clever people these soil
classifiers). The parent material is siltstone, fine sandstone or silty
marl (malmstone and malm of the Upper Greensand).
profile of the Harwell Series is as follows:-
greyish brown, slightly stony (small and medium subangular and tabular
malmstone fragments); friable loam; weak medium subangular blocky
structure; a few fine pores; common fine fibrous roots; narrow even
brown slightly stony (stones as above) firm loam; moderate medium
subangular blocky structures; with pre faces stained dark greyish
brown; abundant fine pores; common fine fibrous roots; vertical
earthworm channels filled with topsoil; narrow irregular boundary
slightly stony (stones as above) firm clay loam with a few fine olive
mottles; strong medium prismatic structure with very dark greyish brown
coated ped faces; abundant fine pores; common fine fibrous roots
concentrated in earthworm channels which are infilled with topsoil;
extremely stony (stones as above and pale olive); firm clay loam with
light olive-brown patches 5-20mm diam associated with malmstone
fragments; weak medium subangular blocky structure often with a platy
tendency; abundant fine pores; common fine fibrous roots; earthworm
channels infilled with topsoil; merging boundary.
my interpretation of this is the vines will have three feet of clay
loam followed by limestone type rock. I hope they enjoy it.
never did get round to checking pH, K, etc etc. Sorry vines - do your