Nestled in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in West Sussex, one of the UK’s most stunning landscapes, Highweald Wine Estate is an exciting new project from a team of highly qualified and passionate young individuals, with the goal of making the best quality wine possible from their unique area of land. And it’s been a strong start for this newly established winery, winning Best English Sparkling and Best Wine in First Year of Production (World-Wide) at the International Wine Challenge 2022.
From across the Sussex Downs, Highweald farm 48 hectares of estate-owned grapes, planted with classic sparkling grape varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, and smaller parcels of Pinot Gris and Bacchus for their still wines. Unlike many English vineyards which are planted on predominantly chalk soils, Highweald’s soils are made up of a fertile composition of Weald clay and sandstone. Surrounded by woodland, interweaved by small streams, the vines are sheltered from the strong Sussex winds and provided with a naturally biodiverse environment in which to thrive. They also use local wildflower plantings and nature corridors formed of woodland and hedgerow to preserve the natural wildlife population and further promote biodiversity within the vineyards. A temperate maritime climate of cool winters and warm summers, allows the fruit to ripen nicely whilst retaining that all important acidity. These conditions combined with meticulous attention to the vines and a vigorous pruning regime, makes for an ideal starting block for award winning wines. Amongst the vineyards, sits their brand-new winery and cellar door operation. An impressive structure, equipped with all the latest and best winemaking equipment. Through precise and polished winemaking, using modern technology, and drawing upon the team’s wealth of experience, Highweald are absolutely delivering on the quality front. Producing expressive wines of precise structure and impeccable balance, showcasing that key acidic backbone indicative of this terroir.
Whilst quality is their focus, sustainability plays a key role in their ethos. Highweald belong to a community of English and Welsh wineries, that actively promote sustainability within winemaking, called Sustainable Wines of Great Britain. An auditory process that shows they adopt sustainable methods and processes where possible across the entirety of the business. From limiting chemical usage and reducing their carbon footprint in the vineyard and winery, to making sure their packaging, from bottles to boxes, have minimal environmental impact.
Witnessing the progression of the English wine industry in recent years, both in terms of growth and quality, has been incredibly exciting for us at Astrum. And being so close to home, when the opportunity arose, we couldn’t resist the chance to be involved. We are delighted to partner with Highweald as their exclusive London distributor.