A visit to Oxney Organic Vineyard
1st October 2018
Set in Beckley, East Sussex (East Sussex and Kent borders) in a lovely secluded spot is the winery Oxney Organic Estate- A relatively newcomer to the English Sparkling Wine scene with the current owners being Kristin Syltevik and Paul Dobson. Ben Smith is the Oxney winemaker.
I was delighted to receive an invitation to visit Oxney Organic Estate and take a tour of their vineyards and winery. At the time of my visit they were not only busy in preparation for harvest and most certainly there was to be a bumper crop this year (see image below), but also upgrading their winery into a newly built (in fact only just finished the day before) independent wine making barn.
A somewhat new trend in wine though showing positive signs of growth and an increasing fan base, organic wines is what Oxney is all about and very passionate they are too about it, being not only a winery, but also a farm and holiday cottages, a direct quote from their website shows their commitment to the organic project: “Sustainable organic farming that minimises the use of fossil fuels, uses no herbicides and pesticides and focuses on natural animal husbandry methods is at the centre of our farm practices.”
The estate totals 850 acres with a total of 21 acres dedicated to vines (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Seyval Blanc vines making English organic sparkling and still wines). As I say it is all new and fresh chez Oxney, vines planted between 2012 and 2014 – my very first tasting was at a wine event in London and a most welcomed second at their winery shows good quality aromas and flavours to their fizz.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.