Hambledon Vineyard

26th February 2014

Hambledon is located on the South Downs in Hampshire and is England’s oldest commercial vineyard.

Originally established by General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones, with the help and advice from friends at the renowned Champagne House Pol Roger, he planted a number of different grape varieties in 1952 and went on to release the first commercial range of English wines.Hambledonblog4

The wines were served on the QE2, in British Embassies around the world, in the Houses of Parliament and in export markets around the world including the USA and Japan. On one occasion during a visit to Paris, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2nd served Hambledon wine to President Pompadour during a reception at the British embassy in Paris.

Sadly, following a change of ownership, wine making activities were curtailed at Hambledon in the mid 1990’s and the vineyard was shrunk to just 4 acres, producing grapes for sale to other wineries.Hambledonblog3

Ian Kellett bought Hambledon Vineyard in 1999. Research convinced him that sparkling wines were the future and in 2005 Ian planted a 10-acre ‘test bed’ of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A team then travelled from Hambledon to France to meet Hubert de Billy, son of the chairman of Pol Roger, to revive the former relationship with the esteemed Champagne House.

Today the Hambledon estate comprises 50 acres of vineyards and a new gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery – the only one of its kind in the UK. In 2011 the final piece of the jigsaw slotted into place with the appointment of one of Champagne’s leading chef de caves. A renowned expert in minimal-intervention winemaking, Hervé Jestin now directs all winemaking at the Estate.

In July 2013, we had our official opening of our new winery by HRH Duchess of Cornwall.HRH&Hambledon family1

Shared by Georgina Goodhind

Glass of Bubbly

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