Established in 1952, Hambledon Vineyard is a true piece of British heritage.
The grapes are grown in the Hampshire village of Hambledon, where the finest chalk soil and cool climate make the most exceptional terroir for creating world-class sparkling wines.
In 1952, when Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones returns home from France, he is inspired to plant the first vines in the Hampshire village of Hambledon. He soon begins making and selling his own wines, creating the first commercial vineyard in the UK.
However, geology has also played a key role in the planning for Hambledon Vineyard and one could say that it all really started… 65 million years ago.
Indeed, Hambledon’s subsoil is made of chalk. Not just any old chalk though. The same that was formed on the seabed of the Paris basin some 65 million years ago.
Hambledon Vineyard’s terroir contains the same Belemnite content as some of the best Chardonnay areas of the Côtes des Blancs in Champagne - playing a key role in the quality of the grapes, as chalk is the perfect subsoil for growing vines.
In addition to benefitting from the finest chalk soil, Hambledon Vineyard is lucky to be protected from heavy rainfalls by the Isle of Wight, directly facing Hampshire, allowing the vineyard to get exceptionally high insolation.
In 2002, encouraged by years of geological research, they decided to (re)plant the vineyard with grapes that would allow them to craft some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. Today Hambledon comprises over 200 acres of vineyard, planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier.
Making wine is a labour of love and the vineyard team works hard all year round, in all weathers. Vines must be pruned by hand and the grapes are handpicked in September and October. The presses and fully gravity-fed winery (the only one in the UK) are located on site, which minimizes the time between picking and pressing - a crucial factor to ensure the quality of the wine.
They use the traditional methode Champenoise and seek energy, precision, length, finesse and balance. Finally, whilst the minimum time on lees for an English sparkling wine is 9 months, they age their Classic Cuvée for a minimum of 21 months and their Première Cuvée for more than… five years!
Since 2002 when they re-planted the vineyard, Hambledon Vineyard’s wines have gone from strength to strength, receiving consistently impressive reviews from wine critics, as well as the most incredible collection of awards. Among other prizes, Première Cuvée recently received another impressive Gold Medal in 2023, from prestigious Decanter.com.
Aside from the onsite winemaking activities, Hambledon Vineyard regularly opens its doors to wine lovers, and local companies and groups. Visitors can experience ‘behind the scenes’ tours, special events and tastings and even celebrate their wedding in the vineyard’s beautiful setting in the South Downs.
For any query : +44 (0)2392 632358 or firstname.lastname@example.org| Hambledon Vineyard, The Vineyard | Hambledon | Hampshire PO7 4RY