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The story of Stopham
Stopham Vineyard is set in a beautiful location near Pulborough in West Sussex in the peaceful hamlet of Stopham, a rural idyll steeped in history.
The Domesday Book of 1086 records a manor of Stopham or Stopeham and the same family, the Bartletts or Barttelots, has held the manor since the Norman Conquest of England. The neighbouring church, St Mary The Virgin dates back to the 11th Century and is a Grade 1 listed building.
The 17 acre vineyard enjoys a favourable position at a low altitude within the beautiful South Downs National Park and was established in 2007 when Simon Woodhead, the vineyard owner and winemaker, planted 21,000 vines on south facing slopes in free draining sandy soil. The grape varieties planted are predominantly for the production of aromatic still white wines (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois, Bacchus) and varietals for sparkling include Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Sustainability is at the heart of our wine making. Our position within the South Downs National Park means that we are very respectful of our environment. We have to protect the natural ecosystem and ensure sustainable vineyard practice such as soil management, minimal spraying of pesticide and use our water and energy supply efficiently.
Passion and precision are two of our core values. Simon started out in his career as an engineer designing automotive sensors for TAG McLaren Formula 1. After spending three years out in Spain, he discovered his love of viticulture and in 2005, he enrolled in a winemaking course at Plumpton Agricultural College in East Sussex. Following his passion and with a background in engineering, attention to detail is key in Stopham’s winemaking process. All grapes are picked by hand then whisked off to the winery to be de-stemmed, crushed and macerated before being pressed to maximise fruit extraction. All stainless steel fermentation tanks are installed with temperature regulation jackets, temperature sensors and carbon dioxide sensors. Fermentation rates are controlled automatically so that the fermentations are slow and gentle.
Craft The Stopham Vineyard wines are hand crafted. All of the grapes used in our wine are estate grown. The vines are consistently pruned and all the grapes are picked by hand in individual bunches. Each vintage from Stopham Estate tells the story of the changeable Sussex countryside, with all of its unique trials and tribulations.
We have chosen aromatic grape varieties (typically grown in Alsace) to produce clean, fruit driven, light to medium bodied wines with crisp acidity.
Joined by Assistant Winemaker Tom Bartlett in 2010, just in time for the first vintage, the pair today share a common passion for English wine and work hard to raise the bar crafting inspired, sustainable wines from Sussex land. Within our portfolio, we have 3 aromatic still wines and 1 traditional method sparkling wine
Brut Prestige (sparkling)
In 2020, Stopham won the IEWA Trophy for Best English Still Wine for the 3rd year running, along with 2 gold medals and we continue to win many industry accolades.
Our goal is simple – to produce the best quality still white wine England can offer
Tours and tastings
We are open for tours and tastings from April – October every Saturday at 11am and 2pm
Tours last between 1.5-2 hours
£25 per person and if you fancy adding in lunch at our nearby pub the White Hart, tickets cost £42 pp
Please see our website for booking details https://www.stophamvineyard.co.uk/home
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