Spring in Hambledon: The Winery, Viticulture and Vineyard Experiences

Spring in Hambledon: The Winery, Viticulture and Vineyard Experiences

As winter dormancy comes to an end, both our vineyard and winery come to life with the warmth of spring, ushering in a flurry of activity. Producing our Finest English Sparkling Wine is undoubtedly a labour of love, and spring is where we begin to truly see the results of last years’ harvest and start to see the beginnings of the next.

In the winery, last years’ base wine has now finished Malolactic fermentation and the winemakers undergo the meticulous process of blending our range of cuvees. The base wine from last year has completed its Malolactic fermentation, setting the stage for our winemakers to embark on the meticulous task of blending our array of cuvées. With a process honed over years of expertise and refined palates, we carefully blend samples from each tank and barrel with an astonishing accuracy of 0.1%. This artistry is paramount in non-vintage winemaking, where the use of reserve wines adds layers of complexity, ensuring consistency in character and quality despite the unpredictable nature of cool climate grape cultivation. Our Head Winemaker, Hervé Jestin, plays a vital role in this process, whose invaluable experience contributes a wealth of knowledge to the blends—an expertise cultivated over time. The true challenge lies in anticipating the flavor profile of the base wines post-second fermentation and prolonged aging on the lees before disgorgement.

In the vineyard, the vines have been pruned and tied down, and bud burst has begun: the first signs of the vineyard springing to life for the 2024 growing season. This early bud burst is a critical period within the vineyard, as weather conditions can be unpredictable in early spring, and frost poses a real risk for English vineyards. At this stage, we watch vigilantly and hope for fair weather- and in the worst-case, frost prevention techniques are an invaluable addition to our annual vine maintenance program.

For those seeking a taste of our vineyard experience, our Cellar Door Dining Experience is now in full swing. Head Chef Nick Edgar and his team have crafted special seasonal menus, showcasing inventive twists on English ingredients in an intimate fine dining setting. Open Wednesday to Sunday each week, it's the perfect opportunity to savor exquisite cuisine paired with our exceptional English Sparkling Wines.

And for those eager to delve deeper into our winemaking journey, our Tours and Tastings, guided by our team of experts, await throughout the summer. Begin your vineyard experience in our historic home vineyard before delving into the meticulous process behind crafting our Finest English Sparkling Wine in our gravity-fed winery. Conclude your tour with a glimpse into our cellars, built into perfect chalk—a crucial element in the extended lees aging of our cuvées—followed by an expert-led tasting of our award-winning wines.

For a unique night among the vines, mark your calendars for the return of our Ha-Ha Hambledon Comedy Night on May 4th. Hosted by the uproariously funny James Alderson, the lineup features stellar comedians including Jake Lambert, known for his appearances on Comedy Central and global arena tours with Michael McIntyre, James Ellis, tour support for Angela Barnes and winner of South Coast Comedian of the Year, and Jo Caulfield, a star of Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, and more. Tickets are £35 per person—click here to reserve your spot now.