Hattingley has always sourced fruit from a wide range of England’s regions rather than relying on our own vineyards in Hampshire. Although England is a small country, there is a multitude of soil types and microclimates which make all the difference in a cool, marginal climate. Frost can be a major problem, so being able to spread the risk across a variety of areas is very useful.
Over the past few years, we have worked with several established farmers who either had vineyards already or who wished to diversify from other types of farming. Growing grapes successfully is tremendously difficult in the UK, so we only choose those sites that have true potential. We enter into long-term (usually ten years as a minimum) contracts to ensure they are viable for all.
The old adage of ‘you can make bad wine from good grapes, but it is impossible to make good wine from bad grapes’ remains true, meaning we work very hard to ensure that we work with only the very best fruit possible.
We are now pleased to see these vineyards starting to bear fruit (quite literally), and we wanted to show you some of our partner growers. In 2022 our vineyards were awarded 'Sustainable Wines of Great Britain' status, an initiative started in 2020 by Wine GB.
Location: Hampshire Owner: Simon Robinson Vineyard Managers: Colin Hayward & Romain Henrion Soil Type: Flinty loam on solid chalk Year Planted: 2008 & 2011 Grapes Grown: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Bacchus, Pinot Gris Vineyard Area: 9 hectares Altitude: 160m
Simon Robinson began his venture into farming in the 1990s by purchasing wheat fields and ending up with 600 acres. He then decided to pursue a lifelong passion for wine by planting vines in 2008 on south-facing, chalk-based slopes. Extensive environmental and location studies determined the best site on his estate.
Recognising that he did not know much about viticulture, Simon took on Romain Henrion, then an MSc student at Toulouse University, to help in the vineyards in 2012. This led to Romain staying on full-time after finishing his graduate studies. He stayed with us for three years, ensuring the vines had the best start possible. Romain remains our consultant, but Colin manages the vineyard daily, taking great pride in keeping the vineyards well-groomed and thriving.
Hazel Street Vineyard
Location: Kent Owner: Patricia Davenport Vineyard Managers: Will Davenport & Tom English Soil Type: Tunbridge Wells Sandstone Year Planted: 2017 & 2020 Grapes Grown: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir Précoce Vineyard Area: 17 Hectare / 42 acres Altitude: 100m
Hazel Street Farm, and the surrounding area, have a history of hop farming since the 15th Century. The Davenport family purchased the farm in 1990, and they have continued the farming legacy. More recently, they focused almost exclusively on apple and pear orchards until our conversations began; they planted 10 hectares of vines in 2017. A further 7 hectares followed in 2020. The vineyard manager, Tom English and his dedicated team members are determined to produce the best quality grapes possible. They are Red Tractor Farm Assurance Fresh Produce and are Gold Standard only achieved with a genuine commitment to environmental consideration and encouraging natural biodiversity.
Red Admiral Vineyard
Location: Hampshire Owner: Angus & Dan Jones Vineyard Managers: Angus & Dan Soil Type: Flinty loam on solid chalk
Year Planted: Original Vines in 2013 Grapes Grown: Pinot Noir / Chardonnay and Bacchus. Vineyard Area: 5 acres / 2 hectares (at present) Altitude: 100M
Based on the outskirts of Droxford in the Meon Valley, within the South Downs National Park, this vineyard is owned by Father and son duo; Angus & Dan. The south/southeast facing slope on flinty loam / solid chalk soil makes an ideal location for a small vineyard focusing on quality—the team plan to plant more vines next year.
The Halsall family must be one of the oldest farming families in the UK, with a history dating back to 1400. Paul’s great-grandfather moved to Essex from Lancashire in 1921 for the warmer climate and superb growing areas. Paul has been a farmer in this area all his life and manages over 1000 acres of farmland, predominantly arable, diversifying into grapes in 2016.
Wick Farm Vineyard
Wick Farm Vineyard
Location- Essex Owner- James Blyth, with daughter Rosie Forshaw and son Robert Blyth Vineyard Manager- Tom Bunting Soil Type: Sandy loam Year planted: 2017 Grapes Grown: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier Vineyard Area: 3.64 Hectare- 9 Acres