DOUBLING IN SIZE - HUSH HEATH’S STATE-OF-THE-ART WINERY
Kent producer sets growth targets for English wine production and tourism
Premium English producer, Hush Heath Estate in Kent, is set to unveil the family company’s new winery in August 2018. In addition to the considerable expansion of the winery itself, the development includes a new shop, a 200-seater tasting room and an upstairs terrace bar.
In response to the international demand for English wine and wine tourism, the state-of-the-art building will substantially increase Hush Heath Estate’s wine production over the next five years, from 150,000 bottles up to 500,000 bottles.
From August this year, new visitor facilities will be ready to receive more tourists looking to enjoy an English wine experience. Over the next few years, numbers are expected to grow from 20,000 to 50,000 visitors per annum.
Additionally, within the next 12 months, Hush Heath Estate will increase its planted vineyards to 130 acres, comprising predominantly of the three sparkling wine grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Other recent innovations include the release of Liberty’s English Bacchus 2017, which is named in honour of the Estate’s Head Vineyard Dog, a spirited Dalmatian called Liberty. Hush Heath’s first ever vintage of Bacchus fruit was hand-picked by Hush Heath Wine Club members on 23rd September 2017, and is available exclusively through the Cellar Door and via www.hushheath.com.
Producer Richard Balfour-Lynn comments: “At Hush Heath Estate we want to make people smile, and our new winery facilities really take wine tourism to the next level – they are comparable with the best of Napa Valley’s experiences. After a year in the making, the team is confident that the new winery will have been worth the wait. As a premium brand we are opening our doors to welcome more people wanting to enjoy wine entertainment, and we plan to produce many more bottles, whilst at all times retaining the philosophy of a boutique producer.
“Our challenge as an industry is to maintain the quality of English wine, the global enthusiasm for which has been astonishing, and we are only at the beginning of the English wine story – rather like the Champagne houses in 1900. That is one of the reasons we opened our Hush Heath Wine Club – it’s an opportunity for those looking to share the journey of English wine through the eyes of Hush Heath Estate. Members can experience the grape harvest, take part in blending and dosage trials with our winemakers, taste wines in tank, and join wine’s journey into bottle and maturity. Membership provides the chance to get involved in the full working of an English winery, without the need to own one.”
In celebration of the winery launch, Hush Heath Estate is planning an open weekend on 22nd and 23rd September with complimentary winemaker masterclasses and other events taking place.
Since the first vines were planted at Hush Heath in 2002, the Estate has significantly grown its offering and now produces a selection of wines and ciders made from fruit grown in 400 acres of immaculate vineyards and apple orchards.