Blackdown Ridge Estate sits at 440 feet above sea level in the Sussex Weald, enjoying extraordinary views over the South Downs National Park.
Here we have planted vines to create fine English wines, taking advantage of the superb location and conditions.
The wines of Blackdown Ridge Estate are the result of the vision of owner, Professor Martin Cook, who has lived on the estate for 20 years. A passionate wine-lover, Martin was inspired to create his vineyard when an Italian family friend and winemaker, Antonio, suggested that the beautiful, serene south-facing slopes of Blackdown would be perfect for growing vines.
Antonio’s words inspired Martin to realise the potential of the estate and the first vines were planted in 2010. The soil of the Sussex Weald shares much with the terroir of the Champagne region of France, and this influenced our plantings of the classic sparkling wine varietals: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. These have been used to create our first sparkling wine, released in 2015.
The grapes planted for our range of still wines include the aromatic Bacchus for our single varietal English white wine, as well as Rondo, Triomphe d’Alsace and, more recently, Sauvignon Blanc.
We have 10.5 acres currently planted to vines which are nurtured throughout the growing year with an environmentally sensitive approach to viticulture that ensures optimum ripeness, yield and fruit quality.
Each vintage allows us to learn and improve, so much so that we now enter international competitions in order to measure ourselves against the very best. We are very proud of what we have achieved in so little time, but we’re also continually aiming to refine and exceed expectations.
Production will increase through summer 2018 and beyond, and, should you have a local shop or restaurant, we will be delighted to discuss trade arrangements - please call Lucinda on 01428 656003 for further details.
Meet The Team
Professor Martin Cook - owner
Our team at Blackdown Ridge includes owner Professor Martin Cook, who oversees everything both in the vineyards and during the winemaking process. He has been the driving force behind the development of the vineyard and the building of our own Winery, which was completed in time for the 2014 harvest.
Josh Hammond - Winemaker
Josh was born and raised in Marlborough, New Zealand, growing up as the 5th generation on the family sheep farm and vineyard. After studying law and chemistry at university Josh embarked on some world travel and completed vintages in California and France before returning to New Zealand to study winemaking and viticulture. After three years working as a winemaker at home a desire to travel again led Josh to the UK and his new role as winemaker for Blackdown Ridge.
Lucinda Colucci - Business Development Mananger
Lucinda Colucci joined the company in 2016 as Business Development Manager never having worked in the wine industry before. She had previously worked for the Professor Martin Cook within the NHS for 8 years. Lucinda loves new challenges and so therefore couldn't resist opportunity - NHS or vineyard? She hasn't regretted it for a moment ever since.
Find out more or purchase our award-winning wines in our shop.
Marius Baidoc - Vineyard Manager
Marius has worked at Blackdown Ridge Estate for ten years, before the idea of a vineyard was begun. He was bought up by his Grandfather who had vineyards in Romania and so viticulture is in his blood. Marius looks after the estate with a passion, if you come to visit you will see how impeccable everything is.