Stopham Estate

Located in Surrey/Sussex · England

The views around Stopham Estate are stunning, looking out over the River Arun and 11th-century St Mary The Virgin church. But it wasn’t the scenery of the South Downs National Park that drew winemaker Simon Woodhead to this Sussex spot – it was the southerly aspect, the low altitude and the free-draining sandy soil, all of which combine to make perfect vine-growing conditions.

Woodhead bought the site in 2007, planting it up with 21,000 vines across 15 acres of land, and setting up the winery in a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian barn. In 2010, he was joined by assistant winemaker Tom Bartlett, and the partnership has become known for the high-quality aromatic still white wines they produce solely from grapes grown on the estate.

The vineyard’s favourable growing conditions have been helpful in allowing the team here to establish sustainable practices that work in harmony with nature and require little by way of intervention. The vineyard’s ability to withstand drought was one of its selling points, and the land has been planted up to allow for good sun exposure. These planting techniques also create good habitats for wildlife such as rabbits – although the team say they do keep a spade handy for filling in any overly large holes they create.