Oxney Organic Estate, the organic vineyard and winery near Rye in East Sussex, has planted another 6ha of vines, making it the largest organic vineyard in the UK, with a total of 14ha.
The two newly planted fields, Knut and Isak, named after the owners’ son, adjoin the existing vineyard in the village of Beckley. The site has ideal conditions for growing grapes, it is 17 metres above sea level in the Rother Valley and has fine sand and silt-loam soil on clay subsoil. The vines planted are a mixture of Pinot Noir, Pinot Précoce and Chardonnay.
“Our wines have been very well received; for instance, our Classic 2014 vintage received a silver medal at the International Wine Challenge, so it made a lot of sense to put in more vines and make some more wine,” says Kristin Syltevik, who set up the vineyard in 2012. “The new planting means that Oxney is now over 18% of the planted organic area in the UK, which totals 75ha. Overall, the current total planted area (organic and conventional) is approximately 2600ha,” says Stephen Skelton MW, viticultural consultant and author.
Oxney Organic Estate was established in 2012 by its owners Kristin Syltevik and Paul Dobson. The on-site winery makes sparkling wine and the emerging range is focused around the high-end Classic and the Estate, a vineyard blend, and are elegant and dry. The vineyard is part of a 340ha farming estate.