Building Great Expectations – Hambledon’s new visitor centre starts to take shape

We have been on tenterhooks to share some exciting news with you and to mark another great chapter in the history of Hambledon Vineyard: we are building a brand new visitor centre to make sure that every second you spend with us is an amazing, unforgettable experience!

We started building our project from the ground up, like the engineering and science aficionados that we are. First, we made sure we had the best terroir, the best vineyards, then we built the best winemaking facilities to make sure we produce a world-beating English sparkling wine. After ‘laying’ these foundations, we were ready to provide our guests and friends with the best wine experience we could possibly imagine.

Although this project has been in the works for a while, it was only yesterday that we laid our eyes on what is to be our new visitor center. And these aren’t just any foundations, these stand as testament to the quality and heritage of Hampshire’s artisanal craftmanship.

Every beam used in our visitor center has been painstakingly sawn, cut and jointed by our good friends at Green Oak Carpentry, Hampshire. Like us, they embrace their heritage and love of their craft, magicking up magnificent creations that stand the test of time. And it’s no wonder how they do it, utilizing artisanal techniques that date back more than 800 years! 

Based in methods of joining and pre-fabrication that were seen in wooden ship building as far back as the Napoleonic era, Green Oak have found the perfect balance between tried and tested tradition and modern technology to create superior quality. Sound familiar?

Much like in winemaking, traditional carpentry, is really the only way to get a look and feel for the timber and its unique characteristics. No two pieces of timber are the same, even less so when you are dealing with over 40 tonnes of the stuff! This in-depth knowledge of the raw materials allows carpenters and winemakers alike to create the absolute best in quality.

The timber used in our frames, like the barrels in our winemaking, is made from some of the finest French Oak sourced from the pre and Napoleonic era forests of Northern France – like Normandy, Alsace and Mayenne.

Not only do these Napoleonic forests produce extraordinarily high-quality timber, but they also practice sustainable growing methods for carbon positive timber production. And that’s a big plus in our books.

It felt right that the same high-quality carefully selected oak that helps create the best English fizz, will also be used to produce the best experience to our guests. So, we very much look forward to sharing a delicious glass of Hambledon under the magnificent beams of our new visitor centre. A toast to all the hard work and splendor of local, artisanal craftmanship.

See you soon, Cheers!

Excited? Stay tuned for more developments of our new visitor center, we want to share every step of this journey with you. Just sign up to our newsletter using the box below.