Wildwood Vineyard is owned by three families - Paul and Andrea Olding, Paul's mum Enid Olding and Andrea's parents Carol and Vic Greenway. Paul is the vineyard manager and was trained at Plumpton College, and subsequently took further qualifications at NIAB EMR East Malling and WSET. During the week, Paul is a tv writer/director
Our adventure started in 2014 with the purchase of a barren plot of grassland and a shaw of woodland. Over the next 18 months, soil nutrients were added to the field and the soil chemistry was adjusted to make it ideal for growing grapevines. The field was also sub-soiled, ‘spaded’, ploughed and harrowed.
In 2016 we planted our field with Bacchus, two clones of Pinot Noir (FR1801 and GM1-11), and Regent. That year the vines all burst into life - we were on our way. At the end of the year, we pruned everything back down to two buds.
2017 started early, and all the vines burst into life. But then the south of England was hit by the worst frosts seen in 15 years. Sadly all the tender new stems got scorched. But the vines had been so well established that a month later, they all reburst with life, pushing out new buds. The vines then grew well over the year. Pruning them during winter set them up with a trunk and three buds just above the fruiting wire ready for year three.
2018 was a spectacular year. The vineyard burst into life and flourished all year. Even taking off a lot of 'green' crop to prevent the vines from exhaustion, we had our first bumper harvest. Our Bacchus was taken to Bolney Wine Estate in Sussex to be made into a fine quality aromatic dry white wine. Our Pinot Noir and Regent was taken all the way up to Sixteen Ridges winery in Herefordshire to be made into a PGI approved delicate rosé and a fruity red.
We are very excited to announce that from our 2019 vintage, we have now teamed up with Defined Wine of Canterbury who will be making all our wines. They are a founding member of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain initiative.
We sell our wines on site by the bottle and by the glass at our fully licensed Cellar Door (check for opening times). We also offer Tours & Guided Tastings and for 2020, we have a brand new Children's Nature Trail to keep the kids occupied while you enjoy our wines. We also sell at a number of local markets and our wines are available from several farm shops, pubs and cafes.
All our vines are tended by hand to produce premium quality grapes to turn into premium quality English still and sparkling wines. Our Bacchus 2019 was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2020 WineGB awards and our Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 a Silver Medal in the Independent English Wine Awards.
Wildwood Vineyard is an active member of WineGB
As well as the vineyard, we have a small shaw of ancient woodland, which is where we get the name Wildwood. The story goes that William the Conqueror's cousin Bishop Odo once used to hunt through these woods.
The woodland is made up of a wide variety of native trees, particularly Oak and Ash standards with a Hazel coppice. At the bottom, is a narrow stream which is populated by tiny trout smallfry washed down from the trout lake at Eridge. Dip your toes in and they will nibble your feet.
The wood also boasts a rich fauna, including Roe Deer, Badgers, Rabbits. We also have Buzzards and Kites, a Barn Owl, Pheasants, Voles, Shrews, Slow worms, Frogs and Toads. Once we even spotted a large male Peacock which was visiting from the nearby estate.
tours & tastings
A wonderful day out in beautiful country side with the benefit of the woodland attached. A walk in the woodland reveals seating areas and all kinds of other experiences. Can't wait to try the wine!
There are a variety of neatly tended, productive vines. Friendly owners on site on open days to give lots of information and advice. The unspoiled woodland adjoining is lovely especially in spring-time when the bluebells are flowering.
We spent a very enjoyable afternoon at one of Wildwood's open days in the Summer and followed that up by joining their adopt a vine scheme. Very interesting for wine lovers and family friendly too, we are looking forward to tasting the first vintage.