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SECRET SURREY Denbies Wine Estate

Chris White

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enbies Wine Estate, England’s largest vineyard, is situated on the outskirts of Dorking in the heart of the Surrey Hills. The vineyard was planted in 1986, with 265 acres of vines, and commands an impressive location overlooking Box Hill, the pinnacle of the 2012 Olympic Cycling Road Race. Approaching the expansive Denbies Estate, for a moment, one could really be anywhere in the world, acres and acres of vineyard rolling into the distant hills, a captivating sight – in the middle of Surrey. Denbies Visitor Centre is open daily

to the public and the chateau style winery hosts two restaurants, wine and gift shop, art gallery, exhibition, conference and banqueting rooms. Denbies runs indoor classic wine tasting tours and outdoor vineyard tours daily. There is also a charming Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast with seven en-suite bedrooms adjacent to the winery. Surrey Hills micro-brewery is located inside the winery building with The Village Greens Farm Shop adjacent to the main entrance. The main building is also home to the Surrey Performing Arts Library. The Estate is family owned and run by the White family. Christopher White, Denbies General Manager, has been running the estate for over 15 years and his family have lived on the Denbies Estate since 1984. Christopher graduated from Bournemouth University with BSc. (Hon). His background has given him a solid understanding of viticulture and also a vast range of hospitality experience. Chris has led the development of the vineyard and visitor centre with the diversification of the estate being its strength. The business has grown substantially over the past 10 years, now employing over 150 staff. The Estate was originally a pig and cattle farm. When the White family took over the estate in 1984, it was suggested by a family friend, Richard Selley, Emeritus Professor of Geology and a Senior Research Fellow at Imperial College, London that the geology of Denbies Estate was perfect for planting a vineyard. The

vineyard was planted in 1986, and since then Denbies has grown to become one of the largest vineyards in the UK. The site was selected predominantly for the geology and soil type, as it is very similar to that found in the Champagne region. Over the years however, the character of the site has grown into something unique. There are pockets of different microclimates and soil types within the vineyard, and this is evident in the wines.

“Its chalk soils, warm and dry climate enables Denbies to produce a range of wines of exceptional quality and style.” Denbies is a very good example of a vineyard with its very own terroir. Its chalk soils, warm and dry climate enables Denbies to produce a range of wines of exceptional quality and style. Denbies produces award winning excellent cool climate sparkling wines using the traditional grape varieties, grown on chalky soil,

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Profile for Platinum Business

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - SUSSEX - ISSUE 15  

Premier business magazine for Sussex

PLATINUM BUSINESS MAGAZINE - SUSSEX - ISSUE 15  

Premier business magazine for Sussex