Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire celebrates 70 years of winemaking

ENGLAND’s oldest commercial vineyard celebrates its platinum jubilee.

Throughout 2022, Hambledon Vineyard celebrated its 70th anniversary with offerings, pop-up events and the release of new wine.

The vines were first planted at the Waterlooville base in 1952 by British Army officer Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones. Current owners Ian and Anna Kellett said the Queen served their Classic Cuvee Rosé to a US President at a state banquet at Windsor Castle and won the 2015 Noble Rot tasting among their proudest achievements.

In 2004, Mr. and Mrs. Kellett planted their first vines to replace the existing vineyard with purely effervescent clones and rootstocks. The new winery was completed in 2011. Next, the couple aim to open hospitality facilities in March 2023, now that they have received planning approval.

Hampshire Chronicle:

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The chalky soil and cooler climate of the Hampshire village is conducive to the production of quality sparkling wines. The classic Hambledon cuvée, produced on the chalky slopes of Windmill Down, blends Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to create layers of floral and stone fruit aromas.

Reflecting on the vineyard’s 70-year history, co-owner Ian said: “The production of English still wine struggles with our current climate, while sparkling wine works with it and benefits from it. England has now demonstrated that it can make world class sparkling wine, it probably hasn’t demonstrated that with still wine (more sun required).

“Thus, the very basis of the product has been completely redesigned. Since the product redesign, we have limited brand development until we are ready. We are now ready and therefore the branding of the product and its communications have just been launched now.

“Our team is passionate about what we do here. Hard worker, focused, artisanal, somewhat eclectic and very international. As a family owned winery, we are a small, tight-knit community.

Mr. Kellett looks forward to an even more successful next 70 years.

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To celebrate the anniversary, the vineyard hosted Jubilee-themed luncheons throughout the spring and summer, as well as a British afternoon tea from Chef Nick Edgar. Plus, an exclusive collaboration with chess producer Purley has created a limited-edition chess set and wine set.

The family business launched the Première Cuvée Rosé this year, mainly from the 2016 harvest, as well as a new brand campaign. To continue the festivities, festive offers will be offered and the vineyard is planning a major event for the opening of its new restaurant around the start of the 2023 school year.

For more go to hambledonvineyard.co.uk/.

Shirley M. Pinder