“In a period when new vineyards are being planted across the South East of England, we find ourselves in the fairly unique position of using our experience to replant old vineyards, which we all find extremely exciting”
Carr Taylor started planting the 21 acre farm site with vines in 1971, converted part of the farm buildings into a house and the rest eventually became the winery, shop and bonded warehouse. As time went on and demand for the wines grew, they planted an adjacent 16 acre site in the early 1990s, bringing the total area of vineyards to its current 37 acres.
In 1984, following the biggest crop the vineyard has produced, they decided to take another pioneering step and were the first commercial vineyard to produce traditional method sparkling wines that have a second fermentation in the bottle (Champagne in all but name).
Although they use the same method as Champagne for our sparkling wines, they use different varieties grown in a different soil. The way they make the wine concentrates on maximising those differences to produce a fruitier, more flavoursome wine rather than trying to emulate Champagnes. However, the traditional Champagne varieties have done extremely well, and there are many consumers who like the idea (and taste) of more traditional sparkling wine. It was with this in mind that they chose Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for a large part of our recent replanting, with a view to produce a more traditional Champagne when these come into production.
As their experience ‘matured’, the wines started developing their now distinctive English character; crisp and aromatic, with delicate citrus, apple and pear notes. It wasn’t long before they started winning a variety of prestigious awards, something that has continued ever since.