World-class English sparkling wines from Sussex
Our low-intervention, Traditional Method, Vintage Sussex Sparkling wines are a true expression of our terroir. Produced from hand-harvested grapes that are whole-bunch pressed and patiently matured, on lees and in bottle to develop rich, autolytic notes, with a low dosage that emphasises the purity of our fruit.
The establishment of a Sussex wine PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) ensures that Sussex wines will continue to be considered amongst the very best in the world. The tighter rules reflect the quality of wine made in Sussex, ensuring provenance and quality.
The Sussex PDO introduce a stricter set of rules regarding both viticulture and winemaking. They include:
- Limiting the grape varieties that can be used in Sussex sparkling wines
- Demanding higher natural alcohol levels prior to harvest
- Longer bottle ageing of the sparkling wines
- Higher analytical standards such as lower Sulphur Dioxide, Copper and Volatile Acidity levels.
Sussex wines also have to pass a Qualitative Assessment, run by an independent tasting panel. Post-disgorgement the wines are assessed for colour and clarity, bubble characteristics, aroma and taste. Each wine must pass all sections and score a minimum of 12 or more out of 20 to qualify as a Sussex wine.
Single variety wines must contain at least 90% of the stated variety – Blanc de Blancs will contain at least 90% Chardonnay. Blanc de Noirs will similarly contain no less than 90% as a combination of either Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier. Vintage wine must contain 85% of the wine from that nominated year and all grapes must be grown in Sussex.