Vines were first planted at Nutbourne in 1979 as an early part of the new era of wine grape growing in this country.
Since 1991 the Nutbourne estate has been owned, managed and expanded by the Gladwin family.
It is now considered one of the premier boutique wine producers in the South East, offering a range of estate grown still and sparkling wines which can compete anywhere in the world.
The “terroir” at Nutbourne is a unique and ideal wine growing environment – a warm microclimate protected by the South Downs, gentle south-facing slopes and the same fertile green sand soil as much of the Champagne region in France.
There are 26 acres under vine. The vineyards are tended throughout the year, pruned by hand through the winter and then carefully trained, trimmed and nurtured during the summer months.
We grow 8 different types of grape: the Riesling style Bacchus, Huxelrebe and Reichensteiner, as well as Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc for our single varietals and sparkling blends.
Sustainability in the Vineyard
We approach wine production as working farmers, simply growing grapes and making wines in the most natural way possible on a completely self-sufficient boutique scale. We use some of the most traditional methods, many of which have existed for hundreds of years. However, we combine this with a 21st Century approach to sustainability.
The insect, bird and small mammal count in our vineyard is increasing each year. We have set aside wildflower strips and wetlands that encourage lively feeding and nesting grounds for insects, birds and wild life.
The vineyard is Carbon Neutral. Although growing vines requires a lot of cultivation, we have offset this with wild flower meadows, natural lakes and wetlands left wild to encourage flora and fauna .
We harvest the rainwater from the roofs of our buildings for spraying and hoses.
Irrigation is rarely required for vines in the UK but when needed, this is pumped from the natural watercourse on the estate.
We maintain and improve soil health by recycling all organic matter back into the ground. We minimise the use of chemical sprays with a carefully monitored intelligent spray programme to reduce negative environmental impact.
Our People and Local Community
Alongside the family we employ people from the local area and use local business services and products.
Additional support at harvest time is all from the local community, who undertake the work for a fair “living wage” combined with the pleasure of working within the vines. The vineyard hosts regular Charity Fundraising events and is a core part of the local community.