Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard

Features

  • Tours Tours
  • Bar Bar
  • Shop Shop
  • Clubs Clubs
  • Wheelchair Access Wheelchair Access
  • Dog Friendly Dog Friendly
  • Public Transport within 5 miles Public Transport within 5 miles
  • Eco Initiatives Eco Initiatives

Tour details

Individuals

Pick up a guide and wander around the vineyards and woodlands, returning to the barn for a tasting.

Groups

Beginning at the visitors' centre, you will be guided around the vineyards and woodlands, while hearing about Sedlescombe and English wine in general. Following a diversion through the Woodland Walk, you will see the winery before finishing with a tutored tasting of the Cooks' wines.

Large groups can be accommodated. Booking essential; Min number: 12

Sustenance

Healthy organic snacks in the Tasting Bar, alongside the Sedlescombe range of wines.
For those wanting something a bit more substantial, head to the Queens Head pub in Sedlescombe

Public transport

Train: Robertsbridge 3 miles; Hastings, 8 miles – best to book taxi beforehand
Bus: 349 from Hastings

Course details

No official courses as such, but Roy & Irma have long welcomed volunteers to learn on the job, as it were, as part of the global organic volunteers network, WWOOF.

Opening times

January to March

Sat-Sun: noon to dusk

Easter to Christmas

Mon-Sun: 10.30am-6pm

Bank Holidays

Open

Prices

Self-guided tours

Adults: £5.50
Seniors: £3.50
Under 18s: free

Groups

Price on application.

Get in Touch

Tel: 01580 830715
Email: enquiries@englishorganicwine.co.uk
www.englishorganicwine.co.uk

Twitter: organicwineryuk
Facebook: Roy Cook

Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard
Hawkhurst Road, Cripps Corner
Robertsbridge
East Sussex
TN32 5SA
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Head down to rural East Sussex for your chance to meet one of the UK's true eco-pioneers. Not only the first organic vineyard, but as of late 2010, Sedlescombe is home to the UK's first biodynamic vineyard.

Having gained experience abroad, Roy and Irma Cook took the plunge in the late 1970s and established Sedlescombe. They now own 23 acres in a few plots including the original 10-acre south-facing plot by their friendly visitor centre and shop. Here you'll find many of the original Germanic grape varieties which began the English wine renaissance.

Renowned on the organic scene, visitors from around the world beat a path to the Cooks' door – when we last spoke a Chinese group had just left.

The Cooks are also long time supporters of WWOOF – nothing to do with the four-legged creatures, but a global network of volunteers who want to work on organic farms. The day I visited a friendly German couple had just finished a spell of pruning.

Designed so that the vineyards are in tune with the earth's rhythms, the biodynamic conversion was a lengthy but rewarding process, says Roy. 'At least we got to see every vine up close,' he chuckles. The first release was a dry white, with a medium-dry and red due in 2011 and the sparkling in 2012.

If you're wondering when to visit, try May and don't miss the bluebells in the woodland walk. Whether you choose the self-guided tour or join up with a group, all visits end with a tutored tasting of a selection of Sedlescombe wines, fruit juices and liqueurs.

Sedlescombe also produces a range of soft drinks and fruit wines.

Nearby there's the delights of Bodiam Castle for the young and those young at heart. Often used in films, the vineayrds stretch down to its borders.

Eco-friendly initiatives

  • organic & biodynamic production – featuring green manure crops which impove soil fertility and enhance wildlife habitats
  • use "good energy" for electricity supply
  • part of WWOOF – hosts volunteers keen to find out about organic farming

Community

Sedlescombe supports a number of eco- and green bodies and events.

Clubs

Sedlescombe has been running its popular Rent-a-vine members' club for a number of years.

Memberships

1066 Country, NFU

For more on biodynamics in Britain, see here.

See why wine producer and author Monty Waldin rates Sedlescombe as his Favourite Visit.

last visited, Spring 2009