Court Garden farm in Sussex has a history dating back to Saxon times and has long had a traditional mix of crops and animals. It is home today to Howard and Jenny Corney who bought the property in 1996, with the intention of specialising in sheep farming. Circumstances changed abruptly in 2001 when the foot and moth epidemic brought home just how precarious a business it can be to rely on sheep farming alone. So they opened a farm shop (since closed), restored the 19th century barn which now serves as a multi-purpose events venue - and planted a vineyard.
One of the drivers behind establishing a vineyard at Court Garden was the neighbouring Rigeview Estate. They were looking for additional quality grape supplies and approached the Corneys to see if they would be interested in supplying Ridgeview on a contract basis. Planting of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Munier took place in 2005 on a 2 ha site. For the first three or four harvests fruit from here was sent off to become Rigeview Estate sparkling wines. Perhaps sensing an opportunity to add value, the Corneys decided in 2009 to part formal company from Ridgeview, with whom they maintain good relations. They established their own winery and branding and specialise in producing sparkling wine using fruit from their own vineyard. They also grow Dornfelder, Rondo and Ortega which are used to produce still wines.
Court Garden wines have received a good number of awards, including a silver medal at the inaugural Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships (2014) for the Court Garden sparkling Rosé 2010.
Court Garden Blanc de Blanc, 2010
Lemon colour; moderately aromatic, lemons, yeast; vigorous mousse, dry, clean acidity, creamy complex citrus, stone fruit and toasty palate; med+ delicious finish. (7 May 2014) Outstanding, 94/100
Court Garden Classic Cuvée, 2010
Pale lemon; citrus, herbal; dry, fresh acidity, citrus, nutty palate; med+ finish. (7 May 2014) Highly Recommended, 88/100