http://www.soilassociation.org/visitanorganicfarm/visitanorganicfarm/articleid/1402/sedlescombe-vineyard-east-sussex
Sedlescombe Vineyard, East Sussex

Visit an organic farm

Sedlescombe Vineyard, East Sussex

Roy Cook’s award-winning vineyard in East Sussex produces fine organic wine. It follows an English wine making tradition that dates back 2000 years, reaching a peak in Tudor times. This is the place to learn more about the history of British wine and how Henry VIII orchestrated a decline leading to the end of English wine production altogether in 1914.

The vineyard

The vines at Sedlescombe were planted in 1979 as Britain’s first organic vineyard. Sedlescombe uses no artificial fertilisers or herbicides. Organic techniques include using farmyard manure and green manure crops to restore soil fertility, straw mulches and mechanical cultivation to control weeds, and minerals such as copper and sulphur to control disease.

Conservation

The ancient woodland in the middle of the farm supports a great variety of wildlife. Bluebells and wood anemones carpet the woodland floor in spring. Woodpeckers nest in rotten trees and butterflies fly through the glades. The devil’s strap fungus is also to be found. The woodland provides shelter for the vines and replacement chestnut poles to support them.

Shop and wine tasting

The vineyard shop boasts organic wines from around the world as well as cider and fruit juices. There are also carefully selected local crafts and wholefoods, and Sedlescombe wines themselves. This is the place to sample what Jancis Robinson described as ‘some of the most delicious English wines I have ever tasted’.  

Arranging a visit   

There is a trail to walk. The farm is open every day from April to December, and at weekends only from January to March. Please contact Roy Cook for further details.  

How to get there   

By bus: Take the 349 bus from Hastings or the 19 from Eastbourne and ask the driver to stop at the Sedlescombe Vineyard entrance. (County Busline 01797 223053)
By road: From Sedlescombe village, take the B2244 North towards Cripp’s Corner. The vineyard is approximately one and a half miles on the left and well signposted from the village.  
By bike: Find your route on the Sustrans website         

Contact details