Saturday morning we met the UK Adventures group at Victoria Station and made a quick train ride to the quaint
village of Pulboroughs, just outside of to start our leisurely hike through bucolic English countryside. For next two to three hours, we passed through gentle rolling hills and miles of endless green pasture to our final destination: The Nutbourne Winery. Relatively new to the growing English wine scene, the Nutbourne Winery grows six different grape varieties, mostly in the Riesling style white grapes: Bacchus, Huxelrebe, Reichensteiner, and Schonburger in addition to the classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, producing some 30,000 to 50,000 bottles per year. South Downs National Park
We took a tour of the 26 acre vineyard with the owner, Bridget, who explained the traditional techniques of wine-growing and wine-making. With similar fertile greensand soil, mineral composition, and cool climate as the famous Champagne region in
France, she explained why West Sussex County is an ideal location for wine production due to its south-facing, gentle downward slopes which is also protected by the South Downs. The Romans planted vines in what was then known as Britannia, but wine-making all but stopped during the Middle Ages when Britain became the largest consumer of the famous clarets. In recent years, there has been a revival of English wine-making in Bordeaux Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and . Cornwall
In addition to Nutbourne Winery,
also boasts several other award-winning wineries including the Nyetimber, Ridge View, and Stopham Vineyard. This year is supposedly a great year for English wines, thanks to the unseasonably warm weather and lack of rain in late April means that vintners can pick the grapes earlier in the harvest season. However, with West Sussex County ’s inclement weather, it is probably too early to predict the quality of this year’s vintage as rain and mold could potentially ruin the harvest. England
Bridget is also a fan of fury animals. Not only is she the proud owner of three adorable dogs, she also lets some dozen of sheep run wild in her vineyard and even has her own alpaca farm consisting of two alpacas, two llamas, and a mixed alpaca/llama. In the photo above, they lack the thick hair as the alpacas were recently shaved and donated to a local organisation.