Aromas of baked apple, cream and brioche emerge on the nose. On the palate, zesty acidity and layers of citrus are tempered by autolytic notes of honey and almond. The finish is refreshing and moreish.
- Feature(s): Vegan
- Winemaker: Simon Woodhead
- Alcohol (ABV): 11.5 %
- Acidity: 6 g/l
- Residual sugar: 11.8 g/l
- pH: 3.21
The Stopham Estate vineyard forms part of the South Downs National Park in West Sussex. The main challenges in the vineyard are deer, which roam the parkland and, unsurprisingly, the weather. This is helped by the sandy, free draining soils and south-facing aspect, which maximise sun exposure and ripening. The Stopham farm animals provide copious amounts of organic fertiliser to improve the sandy soils. Sustainable farming is at the heart of their philosophy, with pesticides only used when absolutely necessary.
A warm spring in 2017 prompted early development. However, frosts came later in the spring and affected buds. This meant yields were down, but a warm summer ensured the remaining crop displayed good concentration and ripeness.
The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were fermented in stainless-steel tanks and bottled in July 2018 for secondary fermentation. It was disgorged in September 2020 following 26 months on lees.
"Precision, Passion, Craft and Sustainability" is the apt motto of Simon Woodhead's, Stopham Estate. Having begun his career as an engineer, designing parts for Formula One racing cars, Simon discovered a passion for wine while living in Spain and in 2005 he enrolled at Plumpton College to study winemaking. In 2007 Simon planted six hectares of vines, predominantly Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc, at Stopham Estate, near Pulborough West Sussex. The estate is known locally for its ancient buildings that were recorded in the Domesday Book, as well as the swans that swim the River Arun, the banks of which form the lower boundary to the vineyards. Their small winery is in a converted barn on the estate that Simon leases from the owners, the Barttelot family.