City lawyer Simon Robinson, and his wife Nicola, bought the King's Farm property and a small amount of land in Hampshire in the 1990s. The property was expanded to 180 ha and at the beginning of the century, with the reputation of English wine becoming firmly established, they began to think seriously about establishing their own vineyard and winery.
The first vineyard dates from 2008 and consists of 22,000 vines of Chardonnay, Pinot Munier and Pinot Noir planted on a 7.3 ha site. A small experimental nursery was established the next year and in 2011 an additional 10,500 vines were planted. The latter included the classic Champagne varietals but also Bacchus for the production of still white wine.
A small amount of fruit was picked in 2010, but their first significant commercial harvest was in 2011.
The winery was established in 2010 with a capacity that greatly exceeds the current estate grape supply. Excess capacity is being used to provide contract winemaking services to other southern England growers.
The winemaker at Hattingley Valley is Emma Rice, a Plumpton graduate, who has previously worked for Nyetimber as well as wineries overseas. In 2014 she was named as UKVA winemaker of the year.
The sparkling Rosé 2011 was awarded a gold medal at the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards and pronounced as World Champion vintage Rosé at the inaugural Champagne & Sparkling Wine Wold Championships.
Hattingley Valley's wines are distributed through Liberty Wines.
(Images © Hattingley Valley Wines)
Hattingley Valley Classic Cuvée 2011
Pale gold; rising dough, biscuit nose; dry, clean acidity, creamy palate citrus, berries med+ length (7 May 2014) Highly recommended, 87/100
Hattingley Valley Blanc de Blancs, 2010
Pale gold; citrus, yeasty aromas; dry, fresh sharp acidity, creamy fruit-driven palate, ripe berries, citrus; med+ length with slightly bitter finish. Elegant (23 Oct 2014) Outstanding, 92/100