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UK’s ‘oldest organic vineyard’ for sale

Sedlescombe vineyard surrounded by picturesque countryside has been listed by Savills, offering a new option for anyone thinking of taking a leap into the blossoming English wine scene.

Carrying a guide price of £1.95m, Sedlescombe is believed to be the UK’s oldest organic vineyard, established in 1979, said estate agency Savills.

The 6.5-hectare estate, which is also farmed according to biodynamic principles, lies close to the south coast in the High Weald area of ‘outstanding natural beauty’.

It encompasses a three-bedroom cottage, 2.8 hectares of vines, a visitor centre and a woodland nature trail, said Savills, although it added that there is no winery on-site at present.

It is the latest of several UK vineyard properties that have been offered for sale by the estate agency, which has seen growing buyer interest in recent years as the reputation of English and Welsh wines has soared.

Organic vines, in particular, are becoming ‘increasingly popular with people coming into the sector’, said Chris Spofforth, head of Savills rural agency for the south-east of England.

He said the Sedlescombe listing was ‘getting some good interest’ and said the price was attractive to people thinking of getting involved in the English wine scene.

In the vineyard, Sedlescombe differs from some other top UK vineyards by not focusing on the classic three ‘Champagne’ grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

There is one hectare of Pinot Noir, planted in 2018, but other varieties planted include Monarch, Solaris and Regent.

Savills said there was potential to expand. A field of around 1.8ha remains unplanted and there is space for a winery, it said. Wines are currently made elsewhere.

Roy Cook founded Sedlescombe’s vineyard in 1979, having started out by planting 2000 vine cuttings that he transported to the property in his old Morris Minor car, from another nearby vineyard at the time. The first harvest was in 1982.

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