Late August tour, letter of thanks

A lovely trip to Blackdown Ridge Vineyard. The lovely Lucinda took us on a tour of the estate and explained the process. We were encouraged to try the grapes as they were growing and she took us through the challenges and highlights of growing, picking , pressing and making as well as branding and selling. This followed by a generous tasting of four wines and two  champagne style wines accompanied by cheese and crackers.

I would heartily recommend this tour. Set in a stunning location with wide ranging views over the downs. We have been on a few before but this was far and away the best.

Message of thanks recently received:

Dear Lucinda,

I just wanted to say a very big thank you for such a lovely afternoon at Blackdown Ridge last Saturday.  An amazing setting, truly impressive wines (and all from Haslemere!) and such an inspiring story of how it all began and your well-deserved growing success.  

Thank you for making us so welcome and allowing us to share a little time in such a very special place that Blackdown Ridge Estate is.  I have experienced a few English wine tours and yours was by far the best - with a warm welcome, a passion for your wines, exceptional hospitality and the chance to savour some fantastic wines!  A great afternoon indeed!

Hope to see you again.

Very best wishes,

V B (The School Party!)

Recent review on Trip Adviser

Short notice tour of vineyard followed by wine tasting.

Lucinda gave us a really informative and interesting tour of the Blackdown Ridge vineyard showing us the processes from vine to bottle in what has to rank as some of the most beautiful countryside in Sussex. Explaining each stage from choosing grape variety, planting, pruning, disease control through to harvesting and the various activities involved in producing the different wines in concise and understandable language that revealed her deep knowledge and passion for the business. Our group of 10 were then shown into the main house for an equally informative and enjoyable tasting. Highly recommended.

Greg C

Re: A spreadsheet to choose English wines for daughters wedding

We recently received this lovely summary of a tasting for potential wedding wines:

Having initially 'found' Blackdown Ridge at a local food & drink festival this summer, my daughter and I visited the vineyard in our quest to draw up a shortlist of English wines for her wedding. This was effectively our last vineyard, having visited several, and sampled many more wines of all types.
Despite warnings of being difficult to find, we arrived at the font door without doing any about-turns....and proceeded to have the most enjoyable tasting, in an exquisite, homely environment. For a small vineyard, their entire range is superb, and we were privileged to sample the new wines, including the very first bottle opened of the new sparkling rose. All are, in my humble opinion, destined to be multiple award-winners. The red, despite it's youth, is possibly the most robust, full-flavoured red we've tasted, while the sauvignon (quite unique in this country) certainly gives that grape a new and exciting twist.
We came away with a bottle of everything for the wedding shortlist, and I'm sure one or more will see a permanent place in my storage cabinet....

Thanks again, Lucinda, for a fabulous ending to our quest.....
Best wishes, Rob

Summary received from a recent happy tour guest

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.

 

Fabulous write up in the Glass of Bubbly magazine

Please click link: https://www.glassofbubbly.com/product/english-sparkling-wine-blackdown-ridge-primordia-2014/ for a really super write up of our sparkling wine. 

 

Product Description

A classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier made using the traditional method. The wine has a persistent lively perlage and characteristic aroma. Lively, fine bubbles help to distribute this wine’s wonderful aromatics; lemon zest and fruity apricot notes with orchard fruit and hints of sweet pastry. On the palate is a really lively citrus quality – it’s more lemon sherbet than lemon zest, prompting a lovely tingling sensation. Richer fruity flavours continue on the mid taste – ripe apricot with juicy apple and pear. A fine mousse with those deliciously rounded fruit flavours make this a really enjoyable and smooth drinking sparkling wine, whilst that persistent sherbet lemon quality keeps it refreshing and light.

Primordia pairs extremely well with fish, seafood and white meats, etc., also wonderful for apéritifs, as well as making for some magnificent cocktails, too. A perfect accompaniment to fresh native oysters or smoked salmon on crostini, brie style cheeses, salami and pâté.

 

Following a recent Eagle Radio promotion we have had a lot of new visitors

We have recently received a really beautiful hand written thank you card and these lovely words - 

Dear Lucinda

Just wanted to thank you for the tour we did yesterday. The tour was excellent as was the tasting after.  You obviously have a great passion for your subject and the whole event was a real pleasure.

Blackdown are lucky to have you as their Business Development and Marketing Manager and I wish you every success.

By the way the Sparkling wine in particular is first class and I am sure it will assist greatly to increase your customer base as well as win further awards.

Thank you again for a super day.

Best Wishes,

 

 

Bud rubbing time is here!

Bud rubbing between three and four thousand plants a day is not for everyone.

Of all the manual tasks in a vineyard, bud rubbing must be one of the most physically painful. And inevitably, the time of year has rolled around again when those buds must be rubbed.

"It's one of those thankless tasks; a real back-breaking job".

Bud rubbing involves workers rubbing and twisting their hands down a vine's trunk to remove shoots and buds – a task which involves repetitive bending and squatting.

Basically, we bud rub because it  promotes growth further up the plant, it also helps when we spray so the vines won't be competing with weeds, 

Timing is critical because ideally you only really want to do this once!

Welcoming our new winemaker - Josh Hammond

 

Already getting a loyal following, the quality of the wines at Blackdown Ridge is set to go from strength to strength with the engagement of New Zealander Josh Hammond as the new winemaker. Young and dynamic, Josh has a great enthusiasm for English wines and has plans to bring his wealth of experience in making wines for Villa Maria in New Zealand, to Blackdown Ridge. "I believe that this vineyard has great potential for high quality wines" said Josh. "The key is to capture aroma and character, abnd the basis is top quality grapes and modern wine-making techniques".

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.

Introducing Primordia!

Blackdown Ridge Estate is proud to announce the arrival of Primordia!

Made by the traditional method from the classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, the wine has a persistent lively mousse, with fresh baked apricots on the nose. Summer fruit on the palate, with green apples and a hint of citrus. Balanced acidity with a long, refreshing fruit finish. An exquisitely English sparkler and true expression of the Sussex countryside

2014 wines - sparkling.jpg

It's English Wine Week!

English Wine Week Saturday 23rd - Sunday 31st May

English Wine has never been so good, with record smashing production throughout England and an increased trend for long warm summers there is a huge amount to celebrate! So why not kick-start your week with a tantalizing taste of pure Englishness, and join us at The Haslemere Cellar on Saturday 23rd May.

If you can't make it to the tasting, we are also offering Free Delivery* on all our English Still Wine throughout English Wine Week! All you have to do is use the code WINEWEEK at checkout to receive this offer.

*Free delivery on all orders placed between 0000hrs Saturday 23rd May and midnight on Sunday 31st May