Westwell Wines has a history of winemaking from the owner’s Italian heritage, where viticulture and winemaking have passed from one generation to another. He has decided to revive this family tradition and put his knowledge to use in sparkling wine production. The mission is to create the ultimate English sparkling wine. As a result every decision is based on whether it will drive better quality & complexity in the finished wine…
The geology of our vineyard is very similar to that of the Champagne region as it has the same prized chalk stratum that runs from Northern France to Southern England, broken by the English Channel. There are some small differences such as the quantity of flint we have, which provides for good drainage and heat retention in our more northern latitude.
Our 45acre (18ha) site is located just beneath the Pilgrims Way on the North Downs, a route used for centuries by Pilgrims travelling to Canterbury. The picturesque surroundings are designated an area of outstanding natural beauty, with the views from the top of the North Downs stretching out to the Romney Marshes on the South Coast.
Four varieties of grapes are grown; three destined for sparkling wine (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier) and one for still (Ortega). For each variety several clones have been selected to maximise the complexity and choice for the sparkling wine blend. The Chardonnay is situated on shallower chalky soils where flint proportions are highest as well as where it captures the evening sun best. This allows Chardonnay to break bud earlier and allows this longest maturing variety [out of the four] the best chance of ripeness. Our Ortega, which has a fruity aromatic style, is planted in the sandiest most sheltered spot and the Pinots are on sandy/chalky soil.
Our Sparkling wine range will all be made using the traditional bottle fermentation method. These will be produced with the help of Dermot Sugrue from Wiston Estate, who specialises in making the finest sparkling wine in a bespoke new winery in West Sussex. Dermot was winemaker at Nyetimber, who produce one of England’s finest sparkling wine ranges as well as having completed vintages in Bordeaux and at Moet & Chandon in Champagne.