In A Nutshell: Established in 1952 by previous owner Major General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones, Hambledon Vineyard is a British, family-run winery and the oldest commercial vineyard in the UK.
Acquired by Ian Kellett in 1999, they grow their grapes in the Hampshire village of Hambledon, where the finest chalk soil and cool climate provide the most exceptional terroir for creating world-class sparkling wines.
The Terroir: Hambledon’s subsoil isn’t made of just any old chalk, it was formed on the seabed of the Paris basin some 65 million years ago, meaning that Hambledon Vineyard’s terroir contains the same Belemnite content as some of the best Chardonnay areas of the Côtes des Blancs in Champagne.
In 2002, empowered by years of geological research, Ian Kellett decided to plant the vineyard with grapes that would allow them to craft some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. Today, Hambledon comprises over 200 acres of vineyard, planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. Making wine is a labour of love and the vineyard team works hard all year round, in all weathers. Vines must be pruned by hand and the grapes are handpicked. Top-of-the-range Coquard PAI presses and the fully gravity-fed winery (the only one in the UK) are located on site, minimising the time between picking and pressing.
The Hambledon ‘personality’: Hambledon Vineyard’s wines have gone from strength to strength, receiving consistently impressive reviews from wine critics, as well as an incredible collection of awards. But they will never rest on their laurels. They are a small family-run vineyard on a very big mission: “to create the finest, world-class English Fizz” and win over the British public with a superior wine grown, made and aged in our own front garden.