Terlingham Vineyard – our natural farming methods seem to be paying off!
We are a boutique, family-run vineyard nestled in the heart of the Garden of England. We are passionate about growing scrumptious fruit and producing unique and delicious English wines with integrity.
Our four acre vineyard is situated just north of Folkestone on the Kent North Downs, with fabulous views over the English Channel to France. All our wines are made from only the grapes grown by us here at Terlingham. We grow Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Bacchus, Dornfelder and Rondo grapes in the wonderful chalky terroir, which is very similar to that found in the Champagne region of France.
Three years ago we embarked on the exciting journey of using exclusively natural farming techniques and producing natural wines under the knowledgeable and enthusiastic guidance of our winemaker, Kobus Louw. Our third year went exceptionally well, with a record yield, no disease and absolutely minimal harm caused to our vineyard and surrounding environment due to our natural farming methods.
We have become more aware of the importance of integrating with, and causing as little negative impact as possible to, the natural ecosystems on our farm. So we have embarked on this exciting journey of creating our wines using natural farming and production techniques. For us, this means that:
- Other than the minimal use of some copper and sulphur, we don’t use any artificial chemical fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. We believe that careful personal management of the vines by hand allows for early detection and treatment of any diseases.
- All work in the vineyard and on the vines, including pruning and harvesting, is done by hand with the help of family and friends (always followed by hard earned lunches and plenty of wine!)
- We allow the natural flora to blossom beneath our vines and we are always delighted to see the return of natural grasses and flowers (and a few weeds!) and the butterflies, ladybirds and spiders that accompany them.
- In the wine making process we do not add any commercial yeast and rely on wild native yeasts for the fermentation of our still wines and the first fermentation of our sparkling wines.
- We do not add any sugars (chaptalisation) in the initial fermentations, use any animal or dairy products (no finings) or make any adjustments for acidity.
- Additionally, we do not use any chemical additives or preservatives (except very small amounts of sulphur) in the production process.
In essence, our ethos is, “nothing added, nothing taken away”.
The care of our land extends beyond our vines and we are proud to have been able to breathe new life into our woodland and ancient grassy banks found within the property. We are proud that a wide variety of wildlife including badgers, pheasants, rabbits, foxes, squirrels and herons have decided to call Terlingham their home.
We are continually learning and improving how we tend to our vineyard and how we make our natural wine. This year we developed our own experimental organic wound seal to prevent trunk disease in the vineyard and are excited about the further improvements we can make this year.
Please get in touch with us for our available dates for our vineyard walks and tastings where you can find out more about our natural wine journey.