Although we live within 20 minutes drive we had not heard of Blackdown Ridge. The journey there was without problems due to the directions given by Lucinda into the wilds of West Sussex.
The day of our visit was the day that the storm was supposed to go through the south of England but it did not affect our enjoyment. We were met by Marius who showed us around the areas of vines. The view from the top of the hill is to "die for". Marius was full of knowledge but more importantly enthusiasm. Marius showed us the impressive new winery building. He explained that the first vines were planted in 2010 and the various varieties and their significance was very interesting. So Blackdown Ridge is a very new but developing winery.
We were then shown into the main building into a lovely living room where there was set out a variety of glasses and nibbles. Marius gently guided us through the various samples (white, rose, red, sparkling and even still cider); again his knowledge and love of wine shone through. Everyone has a different taste but we were very impressed with the wines. The white was not so different from a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the rose had character and the red, although it was young had a depth and breadth that really surprised me. They also produce a sparkling white which was comparable with other winery offerings and a limited amount of still cider, which again had a good taste. This demonstrates the winery versatility and wide skills sets.
So in conclusion, Blackdown Ridge is an up and definitely coming winery that is already producing very decent wines which come from good selection of appropriate grapes (all grown on site) and the skill involved in the wine production. We left the winery with 24 bottles of various types which we look forward to supping. Blackdown Ridge is a winery that obviously is passionate about producing the best possible wines from their grapes and deserve to succeed. Certainly one to keep and eye on and support.