In 1991 Will Davenport planted 5 acres of vines at Horsmonden in Kent, while simultaneously working for a Hampshire vineyard and, unintentionally, this became the beginning of a life-long business as a wine producer.
26 years later the vineyards now make up 24 acres, grown on 5 parcels of land, 9 grape varieties and a multitude of soil types and micro-climates. The vineyards are mostly at Horsmonden in Kent, with a smaller vineyard next to the winery at Rotherfield, East Sussex.
Will was always a keen supporter of organic farming and in 2000 he made the decision to convert all the vines and winery to organic systems, certified by the Soil Association.
English organic Pinot Noir, grown on a south facing sandy clay soil site.
The grapes are 50% destemmed (without crushing the berries) and fermented with natural yeast for a 10 days before pressing. Fermenting juice from the press is moved straight into oak barrels (barrels are between 5 and 20 years old) where it completes fermentation.
The wine is then matured in old oak barriques for 9 months before bottling. We bottle without filtration and this wine may have a slight sediment in the bottle.
The 2018 vintage was one of the ripest years we have ever seen, with flavours of cherries and blackberry, a good dark colour and plenty of depth. It can be drunk now, or kept for up to 3 years to develop more complex flavours and a mellow character. Some hints of oak may emerge after a year or so. It benefits from opening a hour or two (or more) before you want to drink it.
Try with rabbit stew, pheasant and mayonnaise sandwich, mushroom burger or smokey paprika lentils