Established in 2007, Stopham Estate is the brainchild of Simon Woodhead, who began his career as an engineer designing parts for Formula 1 cars. Simon was joined by Tom Bartlett in 2010 just in time for the first vintage. Both Simon and Tom studied at Plumpton College in East Sussex, where they became passionate about English wine and developed the belief that we can produce something special from our land. Better viticultural practices, improved winemaking techniques and technology, international training and increasing temperatures are all contributing to these quality improvements in English winemaking.
The main challenges in the vineyard are deer, which roam the parkland (meaning Simon's first job was to fence the vineyard to protect the vines from damage) and, unsurprisingly, the weather. Simon practices sustainable farming. This is helped by the south-facing vineyards, which maximise sun exposure and ripening, and the proximity of the Stopham farm animals, which provide copious amounts of organic fertiliser to boost the sandy soils! All harvesting is done by hand and the wines are vinified in a small winery located in a converted barn on the estate.
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