The initial 150 vines (white: Phoenix, Seyval Blanc, Schoenburger and red: Regent, Dornfelder, Triomphe) were planted 6 years ago and the next 150 vines were planted 3 years ago inside the beech hedge. They are pruned by either the spur or Guyot (cane) method.
The first wine was made, at The Down House, in 2008 and 150 bottles were made from the 2010, the most drinkable being the rosé according to our daughter! See Wine-making ...
1,000 new vines - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - were planted in April at the top of the meadow on our sloping, south-facing, flinty chalk terroir with the aim of producing an Itchen Valley sparkling wine in 2014.
Our climate is now such that these grape varieties, traditionally associated with the champagne region of France and other parts of the world, can be successfully grown in the south of England and produce award-winning sparkling wine.