Gusbourne Wine Estate, Appledore – tipple fit for a King
In 2004, when Gusbourne founder Andrew Weeber planted the first vines on Gusbourne Estate’s coastal escarpment in Kent, in the far south-eastern corner of England, he had a clear vision and a single goal: to create English Sparkling Wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe. They’ve had their sights set on perfection ever since.
Focusing on just the classic grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, at Gusbourne they believe that the only way to ensure the quality of their grapes is to grow them themselves. That’s why the grapes used in their winemaking are sourced solely from Gusbourne vineyards.
Their vineyards are blessed with a very special terroir: Wealden clay-loam soils combined with an exceptionally warm and dry maritime climate that enables them to be the first to harvest in England, whilst our proximity to the sea provides a distinctive salty tang to the wines.
These privileged growing conditions allow them to make wines that are exclusively vintage, which is very unusual in England. Each vintage is a unique expression of each growing season, and presents an authentic reflection of a time and place.
Gusbourne’s vines are tended with great care and attention to the environment, using only organic fertilisers, and over half of the vines planted are Burgundian (rather than Champagne) clones. This means that they produce lower yields (brought lower still by green harvests every year), but the resultant fruit is riper and has significantly more flavour, making their grapes ideal for the production of fine wines.
Their Traditional Method Sparkling winemaking is a slow and measured process with an uncompromising quest for quality and a fastidious approach to detail. The winemaking team follow strict, self-imposed parameters to maintain their exacting standards and keep intervention to an absolute minimum to ensure the best expression of the wines each and every year.
Gusbourne is the only three-time winner of the International Wine & Spirits Challenge English Wine Producer of the Year – having won the award in 2013, 2015 and 2017. They are the proud recipients of over 230 awards at international competition and were awarded 23 gold medals and 8 trophies in 2019 alone.
Today, they supply leading restaurants in the UK and abroad such as The Fat Duck, Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, L’Enclume, AOC, and The Clove Club. They have exclusive sparkling wine listings at Whatley Manor, The Langham and The Corinthia Hotels, as well as Mandarin Oriental, Chatham Bars Inn, The Umstead, The Park Hotel Vitznau, Fearrington House, Grosvenor House, The Fontenay, The Athenaeum, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel, Moor Hall and Northcote. They are the official English Sparkling Wine supplier of the Goodwood Estate, and their wines can be enjoyed onboard the Belmond British Pullman and Cunard cruise ships.
The wines can be found at esteemed retailers including Berry Bros. & Rudd, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick and Fortnum & Mason as well as many independent, specialist wine merchants, including Hedonism, Lea & Sandeman and Jeroboam’s in London and many more across the UK. Gusbourne wines are also served in the Royal Households.