Established in 1952, Hambledon Vineyard is a British, family-run winery and the oldest commercial vineyard in the UK. We grow our grapes in the Hampshire village of Hambledon, where finest chalk soil and cool climate make the most exceptional terroir for creating world-class sparkling wines.
In 1952, when Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones comes back from France to his birth region, he is inspired to plant the first vines in the Hampshire village of Hambledon. He soon begins making and selling his own wines, creating the first commercial vineyard in the UK. However, geology has also played a key role in the planning for Hambledon Vineyard and one could say that it all really started… 65 million years ago.
Indeed, Hambledon’s subsoil is made of chalk. Not just any old chalk though. The same that was formed on the seabed of the Paris basin some 65 million years ago. Hambledon Vineyard’s terroir contains the same Belemnite content as some of the best Chardonnay areas of the Côtes des Blancs in Champagne - playing a key role in the quality of the grapes, as chalk is the perfect subsoil for growing vines.
In addition to benefitting from the finest chalk soil, Hambledon Vineyard is lucky enough to be protected from heavy rainfalls by the Isle of Wight, directly facing Hampshire, allowing the vineyard to get exceptionally high (well, reasonably high, let’s not forget we’re in England!) insolation.
In 2002, empowered by years of geological research, we decided to (re-)plant the vineyard with grapes that would allow us to craft some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. Today our vineyard comprises over 200 acres of vineyard, planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. 2022 will mark the first Harvest of our extended and newly planted vineyard, a major milestone happening exactly 70 years after planting vines in Hambledon for the very first time.
Making wine is a labour of love and our vineyard team works hard all year round, in all weathers. Vines must be pruned by hand and the grapes are handpicked in September and October. The presses and fully gravity-fed winery (the only one in the UK) are located on site, which minimizes the time between picking and pressing - a crucial factor to ensure the quality of the wine.
Since 2002 when we re-planted the vineyard, our wines have gone from strength to strength, receiving consistently impressive reviews from wine critics, as well as the most incredible collection of awards. Our terroir is truly exceptional, a gift from Nature: The finest chalk soil, born sixty-five million years ago; Slopes slowly shaped under the influence of the ocean; A cool yet sunny climate, protected by the Isle of Wight.
And in return, we hold ourselves to the highest standards.