About Albourne Estate
Albourne Wine Estate was established in 2010 by husband and wife team, Alison Nightingale and Nick Cooper, and has rapidly established itself as an innovative and quality-led English wine producer at the forefront of this rapidly growing industry. Following a career in marketing working overseas for large multinationals, Alison took a step back in 2004 and with two young children completed a Viticulture & Enology degree at Plumpton College, before searching for their own site to establish a vineyard in England. After a lengthy search they came across Albourne Farm, just 5 minutes from where they lived in Hurstpierpoint, with the perfect combination of location, geology and buildings.
Over the past 11 years they have established the vineyard, a winery and a stunning new Tasting Room. From winning ‘UK Wine of the Year’ in 2015 with a Bacchus wine from the second ever harvest, the range, quality and reputation of Albourne Estate wines has grown to include traditional and charmat method sparkling wines, white and red still wines and one of the first English Vermouths. Alison continues to manage the day-to-day running of the Estate and lives on-site with Nick and her three daughters, two dogs, four pygmy goats, four sheep, six chickens and a cat!
Today, our aspirations for our vineyard and winery remain the same:
- To produce an excellent and distinctive range of English wines that capture the essence of our unique Sussex terroir and can compete on the world stage
- To do this in a sustainable, low Carbon way
- To be inclusive in our approach to talking to customers so that learning about our wines is enjoyable, informative and accessible
- To remain a truly boutique producer in style and scale, committed to working with and supporting other local businesses
We continue to strive to meet these aspirations – please try our wines or come and visit us to find out more and we would love to hear your views.
Our Vineyard & Winery
Latitude: 50° 55′ 36” N – Longitude: 0° 13′ 32” W – Altitude: 36m at highest point – Distance from the sea: 8 miles
We selected the site of the vineyard not only for its stunning views of the South Downs National Park, but for its slope, aspect, altitude and geology: tracing the beautiful south-facing slope of a low ridge created by underlying Cretaceous green sandstone.
These features provide excellent drainage, reduced frost risk and maximum sun exposure – critical factors in achieving successful vine growth and grape ripeness at this northerly latitude. The vineyard is now planted with just over 44,000 vines covering approximately 30 acres, which include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Bacchus, Ortega and Dornfelder. This range of varieties and their clones allows us to experiment with a diversity of wine styles and optimise our wines in any given year as vintage variations in the UK can be quite extreme.
All our wines are carefully made by us on-site in our modern winery where we sensitively mix the ‘old world’ and the ‘new’ in wine making techniques. From selective oak barrel maturations for our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir base wines to inert gas pressing of our aromatic varieties and the use of new types of yeasts for our fermentation cultures we continue to explore and push the boundaries of English wine making.