Chalk soils stretching from the Cliffs of Dover coupled with a comparatively warm and dry microclimate enables Denbies Estate to consistently produce a wide range of wine styles of exceptional quality and distinction. Denbies’ wines are produced from a variety of grapes suited to cool-climate wine production, including Bacchus, Ortega, Reichensteiner and Rondo as well as classic varieties such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Denbies sparkling wines are produced using the traditional method and ageing on the lees for complexity, whilst our still wines undergo gentle de-stemming and pressing, some oak ageing and malolactic fermentation for certain styles.
The Denbies Estate has been owned and run by the White family since 1984. Denbies vineyard was planted in 1986, and since then has become one of the largest wine producers in the UK. The estate lies in the heart of Surrey overlooking Box Hill, where Denbies produces an award-winning range of white, red and sparkling wines.
There is a considerable element of physical labour in the vineyard, throughout the year with both pruning and canopy management and in particular during harvest time (September-October). Certain areas of the vineyard can only be harvested by hand due to the slopes and access, plus certain varieties such as Pinot Noir are thinner skinned and therefore benefit from gentle hand-harvesting. During the harvest we have a team of around 30 pickers working. The mechanical picker is designed to handle the grapes carefully and shakes them gently from the vine to ensure berries aren’t damaged, so this is hugely important for us to enable picking at optimal ripeness alongside the hand-harvesting.
There is also extensive hands on activity in the winery, as the entire winemaking process takes place here at Denbies, from pressing the grapes, through to tank and barrel fermentation and the riddling, disgorging and bottling of the sparkling wines.