At the southern edge of the Weald, where it
cascades head long towards the coast, nestles the small vineyard of
Hidden Spring. The new owners David and Chris have looked to
breathe new life into this site.
A veteran of the English wine scene, having been planted over 30
years ago, it was until recently more campsite than vineyard. It
has been rescued from this ignominy, the campsite swept away and
24,000 vines newly planted. Working the land themselves, managing
the winemaking and doing their own bottling, it is quite clear this
is more than just another hobby business. This is an obsession.
Their ambition is clear and the future looks very exciting.
As viticulturist and half of the Hidden Spring family, Chris's
viticultural principles are for minimal interventions, providing
quality and maintaining long-term sustainability, letting the vines
do what they want to do naturally which is to thrive on the
nutrient-rich soils as their predecessors have done for decades
David manages the winemaking side of the business, and aims to
create exquisite balance between the wines natural varietal
characteristics, fruit, acidity, flavours and the factors
influenced by the winemaking process. They make white still wines
in an aromatic style but aim to develop structure in the wine
through lees ageing and the effects of partial oak barrel
fermentation. They also allow the minimal intervention approach to
be fully expressed in the wine. Minor adjustments are made along
the way to achieve the desired balance.