Hidden Spring Vineyard celebrates the bottling of their 2018 vintage wines
Chris and David of Horam based, Hidden Spring are celebrating the first onsite bottling of their wines; although grapes have been grown on the site since 1986, historically the wines were actually made elsewhere. But, this year five wines have been bottled from grapes from the Hidden Spring Vineyard. There are two still white wines The Bacchus Reserve and Pinot Gris and three white sparkling – Blanc de blanc, Classic Cuvee and Blanc de noir, making a total of over 11,000 bottles. The 2018 still white wines will be released around the end of April but, the sparkling has to wait a further two to three years before release. New, this year, is the planting of Cabernet Noir, with the goal of adding a red wine to their production.
“Last year was an excellent one for wine in Sussex, and we are excited to have completed the first 2018 bottling on site, a little bit of history in the making for the vineyard. Plus, it is great to be able to confirm that our wine has travelled less than a mile before you buy it from our cellar door, good for ‘food miles’ and truly local.” commented Chris from Hidden Spring.
The bottling equipment is fascinating, fully mobile the operator can travel from one vineyard to the next in a short space of time. With a set up time of just a few hours, once onsite the machine can bottle up to 3000 bottles an hour at maximum output. A Sussex based company, Bevtech, own and operate the machinery. Their MD, Davis Cowderoy, gave us some background to the growth in the burgeoning wine making industry in Sussex, he highlighted the fact that their business is increasing year on year, after four busy years, with no let down. This year he reckons they will have bottled 1.5 million bottles alone. He also expressed admiration for the English winemakers he works with:” Increasingly I am seeing new producers and more of them trying to do things a bit differently, specialising in areas like organic, still wines and rose. It is an exciting time.”
A wine making ethos
“We want to make high quality still and sparking English wines, which get the very best out of the grapes in terms of flavour. We are lucky enough to have a superb climate here in East Sussex with ideal soil comprising Wealden clay on Tunbridge Wells green sand for the optimum cultivation of the vines.” explained David, Wine Maker at Hidden Spring.
Where to enjoy Hidden Spring wine
Anyone keen to sample their wines can book to go on one of their Vineyard Tours and Tastings, or just pop in and enjoy a glass – they are open most weekends, but best to check first just in case. Hidden Spring wine is available from Cuculo and Tottingworth Farm in Heathfield, Middle Farm – West Firle and can be enjoyed at The Small Holding restaurant, Cranbrook and Hattons in Tunbridge Wells.
They also run a calendar of pop up restaurant events which are listed on their website, naturally you can also enjoy their wines at these events.