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Hidden Spring, Sussex

Minimal intervention winemaking from one of Englands oldest vineyards.

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 before them.

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.

Hidden Spring