On the edge of South Downs National Park, next to Goodwood Racecourse, Tinwood Estate was established in 2006. After taking over the farm from his father, second-generation farmer Art Tukker decided to plant a vineyard following his final year dissertation at University, before visiting New Zealand to work on a vintage and to increase his knowledge of viticulture.
Established long before English wine’s boom in popularity, Tinwood Estate is a proud grower and producer of English wine. Having initially planted 46,000 vines over 28 acres, the most recent planting saw an extra 15 acres of vines being planted, increasing the total vineyard area to 65 acres. Vineyard tours are available, giving visitors a chance to explore the working vineyard and to meet the team of dedicated wine makers (once necessary Covid-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted), and three luxurious lodges are also available to rent out, offering sweeping views of the vineyard, a two-person jacuzzi, free use of mountain bikes, a barrel sauna, and a fully stocked fridge.
The environment is also a prominent focus at Tinwood Estate, having entered the Entry Level Stewardship scheme in 2010. The estate plants wild flower meadows, new hedgerows, and wild flowers amongst vines to promote biodiversity on the farm, “working with nature rather than working against it.”
Specialising in English sparkling wines, the three main Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier – are grown on the vineyard and used in their three wines. Their first sparkling wine, Tinwood Brut, is created with a blend of 50 percent Chardonnay, 30 percent Pinot Noir, and 20 percent Pinot Meunier. The Blancs de Blancs features 100 percent Chardonnay, while their rosé is comprised of 60 percent Pinot Noir, 20 percent Pinot Meunier, and 20 percent Chardonnay.
Tinwood Estate have recently released their 2018 vintages, each having spent a minimum of 18 months on the lees and five months on cork. On the launch, Twinwood Estate Owner Art Tukker said: “The weather in 2018 was the best year we’ve ever had at Tinwood, and we’re expecting great things from this vintage. I would go so far as to say this was the vintage of a generation.”
Pale gold in colour, with a fine stream of bubbles, the Tinwood Brut 2018 has bold melon aromas alongside some citrus notes of lemon curd, plus honey and toasted brioche. Fruitiness continues on the palate, with some green apple and melon, plus vivid acidity and some refinement from the Pinot grapes. The Chardonnay, on the other hand, brings further finesse, with honey and brioche lingering on the dry, well-balanced finish. A gorgeous, rounded, and elegant English sparkling.
Tinwood Brut 2018 is available from Tinwood Estate’s online shop, £29, with free next day nationwide delivery available on mixed boxes of six bottles.