26th August 2021
We are delighted to welcome Gusbourne to the TN card. Gusbourne planted their first vines in Appledore, Kent in 2004, and from that first moment, they had in mind that they wanted to create vintage English Sparkling Wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe.
The Gusbourne tasting room, The Nest, is open all year round, and visitors can enjoy the picturesque Kent countryside for a tour, tasting and to enjoy the award-winning English sparkling wines. We recently spoke to Gusbourne’s Head Winemaker and CEO, Charlie Holland to find out more about the vineyard.
Charlie, when did you join Gusbourne?
I had worked in wineries around the world before joining Gusbourne in 2013. I had a unique opportunity to build a new and exciting brand. Every grape used at Gusbourne was, and still is, grown in our own vineyards, allowing ultimate control over the wines produced.
What made you choose the site for the vineyards?
Our founder is Andrew Weeber, an orthopaedic surgeon originally from Stellenbosch. He moved to the UK, and by chance, one of his daughters was living in Kent, and one weekend she invited the family for a sunny barbecue. He started reading up on the climate patterns there and got excited by the possibilities.
Then Andrew heard of a farm for sale in Kent. A really big farm – 500 acres, all arable. So, he bought it. Everyone thought he’d lost his marbles! But his reading about Kent’s climate and sunshine hours meant Andrew knew he wasn’t throwing good money into a pit of optimism. He started by planting 50 acres to see how it went. We now have over 148 acres in Kent and a further 74 in West Sussex.
What makes Gusbourne unique?
Our winemaking style has evolved over time and is engineered to suit our unique climate and sites. As with all the best English sparkling wines, acidity is key and the fresh and vivacious nature makes them exciting to drink. We aim to embrace this acidity, but balance this with roundness and fullness.
We only make vintage wines, so they are unique to each growing season and present an authentic reflection of a time and place. Each vintage tells a story about what happened that year, and we think that’s very special.
How can members taste the wines?
For those living in the TN postcode, the best way is to come and visit the vineyards and tasting room in Appledore, Kent. It’s under an hour from Tunbridge Wells and makes a great day out. You can join us for a tour and a relaxing afternoon in the Kent countryside, enjoying our wines over a leisurely lunch. Or simply drop in if you’re passing, we are open daily from 10-5pm for tastings and self-guided tours around the vineyard, and there’s no need to reserve – just turn up.
You can also taste our wines in some fabulous local bars and restaurants, such as The Curlew in Bodiam, The Gallivant in Camber and The Kentish Hare in Bidborough, or pick up a bottle at independent wine shops like Quercus Wines in Westerham or Macknade in Ashford and Tunbridge Wells.
Members receive a complimentary glass of Gusbourne’s award-winning Blanc de Blancs when visiting the vineyard. Find more details here. Plus this September, members have the chance to win a vineyard tour at Gusbourne for four people. Enter here before midnight on Sunday 25th September.