Oxney Organic Estate

Sussex Chardonnay 2020

East Sussex, England

100% Chardonnay | 12.0% ABV


Award-winning Oxney Organic Estate, run by Norwegian Kristin Syltevik, is one of our favourite wineries. This is a wine to challenge your perceptions of English wine, and is a taste of more great things to come, from our favourite English wine estate, Oxney. Blind taste it with friends and see their reaction when you tell them this beautiful wine was grown and made in East Sussex!

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A delightful example of cool climate Chardonnay. The nose has complex aromas of stone fruits, hazelnut and toast. On the palate some richness comes through, with a creamy mouthfeel supported by a backbone of acidity and flavours of citrus zest, nuts and fresh oats.

Service: the ideal temperature is around 8°C to serve as an aperitif and 9-10°C with food.

Food pairing: this wine is a treat with rich and creamy foods. Think creamy cheeses like Brie, pasta with pesto or cheese-based or buttery sauces, chicken or white fish in creamy or butter-based sauces.

Winemaking is overseen by founder Kristin Syltevik with Sicilian winemaker Salvatore Leone. The grapes are hand-picked and transported to the winery which is located in an old converted grade II listed oast house adjacent to the vineyard. A sustainable approach is followed in the winery with a focus on low intervention, using whole bunch pressing in small batches, natural yeasts and minimal filtration.

Hear from Salvatore here: https://youtu.be/CfLEUfIAaiE?feature=shared

Six miles north of Rye, in the village of Beckley in the south east corner of East Sussex, Oxney Organic Estate has been producing award-winning organic wines since 2014. The first vines were planted in 2012 by founders Kristin Syltevik and Paul Dobson, who run Oxney as part of a wider organic farming estate. Today Oxney is the largest estate producer of organic English wines. Oxney wines are crafted as a showcase for the naturally high-quality grapes grown in the vineyard. In the winery – a converted Grade II oasthouse – interventions are kept to a minimum to promote full fruit expression.

Planted between 2012 and 2018, Oxney’s 14 hectares of vines are located on a warm, sheltered site six miles from the English Channel and 17 metres above sea level. Vines are planted on a gentle southwest-facing slope, which maximises sun exposure and aids ripening. An adjoining ancient oak forest provides natural wind protection, helping to create excellent conditions for growing high-quality organic grapes. Four varieties are planted – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Seyval Blanc. The soil is Tunbridge Wells sand – a fine sand and silt loam – above clay bedrock.

In their own words: "There’s an old saying that great wines are made in the vineyard. We couldn’t agree more – and we see organic methods as the best way to produce the quality and purity of fruit required for those wines. Our 35 acres of vines produce around 20% of all organic grapes grown in the UK and we use them to make an increasingly celebrated range of still and sparkling wines. We believe that the future of English wine is organic. The proof is in the bottle."

Pioneer (3*)

Oxney Organic Estate sets a high bar. Soil Association certified as organic, sustainability runs deep through their ethos. Norwegian founder Kristin has clearly done her research, right down to exploring more sustainable cap management in the fermentation process through to the type of solvent used to stick recycled labels to bottles. Vines are cared for by hand and all grapes are hand picked. Wines are made on-site with state of the art kit ensuring proper temperature control and gentle pneumatic pressing, which is combined with a low-intervention approach which favours wild ferments, no filtration and minimal use of SO2. The estate generates its biomass heat for its winery operations using wood chip sourced from their own coppiced woodland.

White | Still | 75cl | 12% ABV | SO2 30mg/l

As listed by the Eden Project, Cornwall

Cellaring: Ready to drink now.

Vinification: The fruit was picked October 6th, pressed and fermented on old oak. Some fermented using wild yeasts. 100% malolactic fermentation. During fermentation the barrels were periodically stirred. Bottled un-fined and unfiltered.

Vineyard last visited by Wine&Earth's co-founders Martin & Toby in Summer 2021. Kristin is a frequent contributor to our London-based events.

  • Organic - Independently Certified

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