Hobdens - Our secret Sussex vineyard

Hobdens is our “hidden vineyard”,  tucked away just south of Mayfield. It’s a lovely spot: protected by the Mayfield ridge to the North East and the looming bulk of Crowbourgh Hill to the north west.  Between them they keep icy winds off the vineyard in winter and hold back the drenchings of the  wet summer westerlies.

This is our oldest parcel of vines dating back to our first small planting in 2004 and completed in 2005. It’s a 1.5 hectare south-south-east facing field, at an elevation of 78 to 83 metres, that prior to 1914 grew hops for the local brew . It is lovely to work in as it’s well drained with a herringbone pattern of land drains & has a uniform, gentle 5 degree slope.

The clay loam over Wealden clay soils, shot through with iron rich shale, are slower to warm up in spring than the sandier soils of our larger vineyard at Lakestreet, generally delaying budburst at Hobdens until the risk of frost is over and then staying warm well into late Autumn as the grapes ripen. 

Hobdens is planted with five varieties: Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay , Pinot gris and Pinot blanc. We carefully selected clones that would ripen well with lush flavours and bring different characteristics to the wines.   We’ve also trialled different rootstocks to gauge their impact on the vines and wines.

Vines are trained to the Double Guyot system (for those that like such details)  and by mid summer they form clipped “hedges” above the trunks,  carefully spaced so that they don’t cast shade on each other. We do a vast amount of work by hand  to optimise each vine’s exposure to the all important sunlight.





Hobdens Vineyard

  • Area: 1.5ha
  • Elevation: 78m to 83m above sea level
  • Orientation: South-South-East
  • Slope: 5% evenly across the vineyard
  • Soil: Clay over sandstone with shallow beds of iron-bearing shale
  • Microclimate: sheltered, warm