At Hambledon Vineyard we have the honour of sharing Her Majesty’s Jubilee – our vineyard was first planted in 1952, making it the oldest commercial vineyard in England. We have been in continuous production for 70 years now, crafting quality wines from grapes grown on perfect white chalk in the small village of Hambledon, Hampshire.
Much like Her Majesty's, Hambledon Vineyard's heritage is rich and full of fascinating characters (some of whom even cross paths). Which is why our Owner and Managing Director, Ian Kellett, will be sharing a series of short blogs ahead of the Jubilee Weekend in order to celebrate our joint Jubilees - make sure to read the previous blog here, if you missed it. Otherwise, please enjoy the next story below!
2016, Burgundy, France.
On another trip to Burgundy my wife and I are visiting pinot noir producers with one of burgundy’s most reputed English experts, who lives in Beaune. We spent a week travelling around burgundy with Roy Richards, tasting 2015 and 2014 vintages with a view to buying a couple of pallets to cellar at home in Hambledon; We ended up in St.Aubin in the winery/cellars of a M. Jerome Fournerot. After an hour of chatting Jerome has a eureka moment – “English Sparkling Wine! – I know English Sparkling Wine!” – and he heads to a small wooden wine rack in one corner of the cellar. Jerome pulls out a bottle of Cottonworth, owned by Hugh Lidell.
Hugh as it happened had bought a burgundy vineyard in St Aubin and lived 4 doors down the street from Jerome. We all agree it is a small world.
Then Jerome announces “Ambledon” I know Ambledon (the French are not fond of the letter H in English words) – Sir John Salisbury-Jones says he. Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones I correct. No, no he will have it that it was Sir John Salisbury-Jones. I reach for my phone to upload our Hambledon website to prove him wrong – but there was not even 1g mobile reception in the cellar. Jerome dashes off upstairs (his house is directly above the winery / cellar) and returns 5 minutes later with black and white photographs and postcards of Sir Guy beside his old Rover covered in plastic sheeting, with boxes of vines being loaded onto the roof by Jerome’s father and grandfather.
How amazing that by pure coincidence we rediscover the Burgundian family who supplied the original vines and rootstocks to Hambledon!
2022 – Hambledon, Hampshire.
We shall be including the wines of the Fournerot family of St Aubin on the wine list of our restaurant, in recognition of that history. (We shall indeed have the wines of many friends and families we know across Europe, being as we are a family-based vineyard ourselves).
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