NOTHING WORTH TREASURING EVER CAME EASY
Terroir is a French term, it has no equivalent English translation. It simply means all the natural elements that contribute to a wine’s taste. Soil, rocks, climate, exposure to the elements etc. The most important factor for me, is the soil. Having spent a large part of my life in France it is what I am obsessed about more than anything. It’s what separates the great from the good. No matter what you do to a wine during the winemaking process, it is ultimately the soil and what’s beneath it which will define its longterm character.
Seeing as the soil is our greatest asset I make sure we look after it. Organic nutrition and not using herbicides is an absolute must for me. If we want to extract unique flavours from these vines then they have to be in a healthy, well-structured and balanced state to do so. It is certainly more work than conventional viticulture but if it will make a sparkling wine that has true character and individuality, which I believe it has, then it is certainly worth it.
I had a good feeling about this site from the day I stood on a cold, rainy February day in 2010. As the soil was ploughed, the vines planted the winery built and the wines made this feeling has grown into pure excitement.
Our single vineyard sits on an ancient Thames gravel terrace, where water flowed about 450,000 years ago. For thousands of years the Thames cut down into the gravels and chalk, and left a terrace with steep slopes with large deposits of flint gravel, mixed into thick orange clay lying on top of the chalk. This is classic ‘Thames Terroir’ and exists all around the valley at various heights above sea level. Being quite central and away from the coast we experience high summer day temperatures with cooler nights that preserve our precious acidity. All in all I feel very lucky to have found this site, but our job now is to show the world what it can produce.