Why we love small batch winemaking
Small batch winemaking is, at its heart, about personality.
The character of the wine – its texture and complexity – is built upon the hand that nature has dealt for that vineyard, or lot, or season. This approach is ultimately only possible with real skill, which is where Ben Smith, our Head Winemaker, really shines. Ben’s exceptional experience and his respect for the natural product means we are able to focus and fine-tune production in very specific ways to suit different grapes, methods and goals.
There are approximately 700 individual vineyards in the UK. A recent survey by EnglishWine.com looked at the distribution of land among British growers. They found that 43 growers had less than 0.10 hectare, while 37 had 10 hectares or more. While we have the capacity to handle scale in our production, we also offer flexibility with one, three and eight tonne presses on site. This means that vineyard owners who have as little as one acre can send their fruit to us, safe in the knowledge that production from crate to case will exclusively use their grapes.
Hand in hand with small batch winemaking is the concept of low intervention. Again, this is a measure of the winemaker’s skill – knowing when to hold back and not get involved becomes as important as actively taking action.
So there you have it: an approach that puts us close to the fruit; focused on the details and nuances that nature provides and which – in the right hands – can be carefully coaxed out in production to ultimately create wines of exceptional character and quality. It’s easy to see why we love small batch winemaking.