Oxney Organic Estate, the organic vineyard and winery near Rye in East Sussex, has planted another six hectares of vines, making it the largest organic vineyard in the UK with a total of 14 hectares.
The two newly planted fields, Knut and Isak – named after the owners’ son, adjoin the existing vineyard in the village of Beckley. The site has ideal conditions for growing grapes – it is 17 meters above sea level in the Rother river valley and has fine sand and silt loam soil on clay subsoil. The vines planted are a mixture of Pinot Noir, Pinot Précoce and Chardonnay.
Commenting on Oxney’s vineyard expansion, owner Kristin Syltevik said: “Our wines have been very well received, for instance our Classic 2014 vintage received a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge, so it made a lot of sense to put in more vines and make some more wine.”
“The new planting means Oxney is now over 18% of the planted organic area in the UK which totals 75 hectares. Overall the current total planted area (organic and conventional) is approximately 2600 hectares,” added Stephen Skelton MW, viticultural consultant and author.
Oxney Organic Estate was established in 2012 by its owners Kristin Syltevik and Paul Dobson. The onsite winery, housed in a listed oasthouse, makes sparkling wine and the emerging range is focused around the high-end Classic and the Estate, a vineyard blend. The vineyard is part of a 850 acre farming estate. The vineyard is open for tours from 1st March to 31st October every Friday and the first and third Saturday of every month and visitors can also stay in the estate’s holiday cottages and shepherd’s huts.
Oxney’s wine can be purchased through the cellar door, from many local and national stockists and restaurants.