Davenport Vineyards, Castle Hill, Rotherfield, East Sussex TN6 3RR

United Kingdom

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© 2017 by Davenport Vineyards

Making English wines since 1991

What is organic, natural and sustainable?

Winemaking is a natural process and any fruit, if left, will eventually ferment. We believe that the route to making the best wines is to work with nature and this has to begin with organic grapes. The fruit then becomes a true expression of the grape variety and the soil that it grows in. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides are there to make life easy for the vineyard manager, but often result in wine that lacks originality.

In today's world it is important to preserve our environment for future generations. Everything we do has some impact on the environement, including making wine. We try to make our wines with as little energy as possible, mostly generated on site by solar panels, but we also consider the footprint of every aspect, from grapes to packaging. We use local suppliers when we can and we sell all our wine in the UK.

Organic vineyards
Organic grapes are grown without chemical fertilisers, insecticides or herbicides. Weeds are controlled by mowing and cultivation.
Soil fertility is maintained with animal manures and plant waste compost.
We use sulphur and copper to control mildew in place of synthetic fungicides.
We also make our own liquid feed for the vines using comfrey and nettles.
Organic winery
Organic wine is made similar to non-organic wine, except that the levels of sulphites used must be below 100 mg/L (less than half of the allowed limit for non-organic wines) and some fining agents are not allowed. Most of our wines go well beyond these restrictions (see natural wines).
Natural wines
In addition to the organic winemaking restrictions, Will has decided to try to make the wines as naturally as possible. This involves not adding commercial yeasts, keeping sulphites as low as possible (sometimes with no sulphur addition at all) and avoiding filtration wherever possible. Fining agents (except bentonite clay) are not used at all.
Sustainability
Wine production has an environmental cost.
Our solar panels generate enough electricity to run the winery for a year, plus more. We try to reduce water consumption and energy use in everything we do.
Our packaging is made from recycled materials (and fully recyclable after use).
We use lightweight bottles, using less glass and saving energy in glass manufacture and transport.
Our wines are sealed with a natural cork which supports the beneficial ecosystem in cork forests.
Limney Farm
Limney Farm, the 38 acre farm surrounding the winery, originally occupied in Roman times, is managed for wildlife under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme. We try to promote wildflower meadows, ancient woodlands, traditional small fields with miles of hedgerows, 4 ponds, ghylls and streams.
we have a flock of Wiltshire Horn sheep, honey from our bee hives, home grown vegetables and eggs.
It is a typical Sussex Wealden farm landscape and we feel privileged to be a part of its story.
Vegan wines?
Our wine is made without any animal products at any stage in the winemaking and is suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets
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