Interview With A Winemaker At Sugrue South Downs – Ana Sugrue

14th May 2024

Winemaker At Sugrue South Downs Ana Sugrue

Wine isn’t just made, it’s crafted by the unwavering expertise of a Winemaker, sometimes old traditions are passed down by generations and on other occasions, new people venture into the industry, introducing us to new creations, this series of Winemaker Interviews will help you uncover the vast world and skills of how the artists passionate about wine make the world a bubbly place.

In this feature we speak with Ana Sugrue, the skilled Winemaker at Sugrue South Downs in Sussex, England, let’s discover a little about her time as a Winemaker in the Wine Industry.

Tell Us About Yourself & How You Became Involved In The Wine Industry?

“I grew up in Zagreb, Croatia, but spent most of my time in Plešivica wine region where my grandparents lived. I remember so vividly playing in the vineyards and barrel halls since I was a child and it continued through my teenage years. When it was time to decide what to study, Oenology was the only logical option.

After finishing my Master’s Degree, I traveled the world and made wine on 4 different continents. By accident, called love, I ended up in the UK:”

As A Winemaker, What Has Been Your Hardest Obstacle To Overcome In English Producing Wine?

“To answer this question, I would start with a vineyard.

Most of my winemaking career was in Austria where ripening grapes was not a problem compared to the UK where temperatures are lower and the rainfall is significantly higher. The first obstacle is to get to the ripe, clean and healthy grapes. The second is to get those grapes picked. We have been struggling with securing the labor for harvest, but let’s not talk politics here. Winemaking is always easy when you work with gold.”

Where Do You See The Future Of English Sparkling Wine?

“I went to Champagne for the first time in March 2022 for second hand equipment shopping and while having a glass of bubbles on Avenue de Champagne in Epernay I thought to myself that this is how the South of England is going to look like in a few decades. Big (and small) Houses next to each other making exceptional wines.”

What Part Of The Wine Making Process Do You Enjoy The Most?

“I would say the harvest buzz. It is hard and very physical, long hours, but extremely rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling of the last press and a lie-in the next day.”

Can You Share With Us One Of The Most Memorable Experiences You’ve Enjoyed With A Glass of Sugrue South Downs Sparkling Wine?

“In 2021 when I started working for SSD I had a tasting in London presenting the wine to our UK distributor and I remember tasting the range and being extremely proud and confident in the wines in front of me. I will always remember that feeling of pure joy and attitude “My wines really are the best” Cheeky, I know.”

Thank you Ana, for sharing your words, knowledge and experience with us and we at Glass of Bubbly wish you the very best for the future!

Images belong to Ana Sugrue. Glass of Bubbly was granted permission to use them.

Oliver Walkey

Champagne and Sparkling Wine Writer, Focused on Bringing the Exciting and Fascinating World of Bubbly to You.