Hambledon Vineyard


Hambledon Vineyard is England's oldest commercial vineyard, having been established in 1952 by Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones. Following a suggestion from him stepson John about what to do with the field directly below them. The idea spurred Sir Guy to begin his research on the feasibility of planting vines on his south-facing chalky slopes. The first commercial range of English wines was then released in 1952 after the planting of many different grape varieties. You can see a clip of the Hambledon Harvest of 1961 on Hambledon Vineyards website.

In 1966 Bill Carcary, a winemaker joined the Hambledon team. A soon after the wines drew a strong following, winning many awards and even a Gold Medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in 1984. Since then, Hambledon Wines have been served at many prestigious events and to several high profile individuals, including when Her Majesty Elizabeth 2nd served it to President Pompidou during a reception at the British Embassy in Paris.

In the mid-1990s, ownership changed at Hambledon, and the winemaking activities were curtailed. The vineyard was shrunk to just 4 acres and produced grapes for sale to other vineyards. However, today Hambledon compromises of over 200 acres spread over numerous vineyard sites. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the three grape varieties planted at each vineyard.

'Making wine is a labour of love, and our (Hambledon) team works hard all year round, in all weathers. Our (Hambledon) 100,000 established vines must be pruned by hand - like pruning the roses in your garden - and the grapes are handpicked in September and October. Our (Hambledon) presses and winery are located on-site, which means we can minimise the time between picking and pressing - a crucial factor to ensure the quality of the wine.' - Hambledon Vineyard

Head winemaker Hervé Jestin joined the Hambledon team in 2011 following a recommendation from the director of Pol Roger, Hubert de Billy. Hervé Jestin is widely considered to be one of the best winemakers in the Champagne region and has overseen the production of more than 200 million bottles of champagne and sparkling wine during his career.

In time for the 2011 harvest, the on-site winery was officially opened by HRH Duchess of Cornwall and this state-of-the-art facility is the only fully gravity-fed winery in the UK.

Today, the House produces three cuvées, all of which we have brought into stock. All three are currently Chardonnay-led, non-vintage, capitalising on the quality of the chalky terroir of the South Downs and its ability to produce top-quality wines.

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