Winemaker Kevin Sutherland interviewed on BBC Radio 4

We were delighted to attend the 50th South of England Show at Ardingly this year where we offered free tastings of our award-winning English sparkling wines.

HRH The Duchess of Cornwall also attended the show and planted a vine to officially represent the ‘millionth vine’ planted in the UK this year with United Kingdom Vineyards Association (UKVA), the UK wine industry’s central organisation.

Our very own winemaker, Kevin Sutherland was interviewed for BBC Radio 4 Farming Today at the South of England Agricultural Society show. His section starts at minute 23.20, talking about English Wine Producers, the English wine industry and a tasting of our Hindleap Blanc de Blancs.

Listen here:

Join us at the Newick Fair on Saturday!

Join Bluebell Vineyard Estates and other local producers for fabulous fizz, food, natural products, demonstrations, live music and children's activities at the Newick Fair on Saturday 17th June. Free music and parking!

We will be offering free wine tastings of our award-winning English Sparkling Wines.

Time: 11am to 3pm

Venue: Newick Green

Price: FREE

Visit and review by drinks blog 'Vinspire'

We were delighted to host a visit from one of the leading drinks bloggers recently, Vinspire who joined us for the afternoon as part of a Sussex visit to us and the Ashdown Park Hotel

You can read the full review here: Vinspire Bluebell Vineyard Tour & Tasting including comments on our new releases including our gold medal award-winning Barrel Aged Blanc de Blancs.

‘Are you in France?’ my friend asked after I posted a photo of Bluebell Vineyard Estates. Close, I guess, but no, I’m a bit closer to home in the stunning Sussex countryside.
— Vinspire

2017 awards haul for Hindleap wines

We are delighted to announce that our new releases all picked up medals in the 2017 wine competitions.

Our very first Barrel Aged Blanc de Blancs was awarded GOLD at the International Wine Challenge and Silver at the Sommelier Wine Awards with judges commenting:

Our 2014 Blanc de Blancs was award Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine Challenge, while our 2014 Classic was awarded Silver and Bronze at these competitions, respectively.  

‘A richer style, with more nutty character on the nose, then cream and toasty buttery notes,’ began Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, concluding: ‘Good quality, well balanced on the palate with a nice smoky edge to it.’

Q&A with Assistant Winemaker, Collette O'Leary about English Wine Week 2017

With English Wine Week around the corner we caught up with Ashdown Park Hotel ahead of our English Wine Tour & Dinner on 3rd June. Assistant winemaker, Collette O'Leary discusses what makes English wine so special and what to expect on one of Bluebell Vineyard Estates' tours.

What will be happening at Bluebell Vineyard during English Wine Week?

English Wine Week is a great showcase for the industry and Bluebell Vineyard Estates loves to get involved so we will be hosting free wine tastings at the vineyard during the week.  We’ve recently launched our new Barrel Aged Blanc de Blancs which is tasting absolutely delicious and we will be offering tastings of this limited release wine to our customers who visit us at the vineyard.

What are the biggest challenges involved in producing English wine?

The weather!  We have what is termed a ‘marginal climate’ which means it can be challenging to grow some grape varieties in England due to the comparatively cool temperatures and high rainfall.  However, being based in Sussex means we have amongst the highest temperatures in England, crucial for ripening the grapes, but also lower rainfall and moderate winds, all of which help provide the right conditions for growing grapes for sparkling wine production. 

How does English wine differ from wines from other countries?

England has quite a long growing season and harvest often starts around 7th October.  This longer season typically results in more fruit-forward styles of sparkling wines with a lively, zesty acidity. 

Have you noticed an increase in interest in English wines and vineyards over the last few years?

Absolutely - since we opened our tasting room two years ago we’ve seen visitor numbers increase month by month and there’s a real appetite among the British who want to explore wine and food producers on their doorstep.  We are very fortunate to be surrounded by some amazing hotels, pubs and restaurants with a real focus on producing food with provenance and are looking for English wines to match.  Getting English wines onto wine lists across the region has made a huge difference and we are very lucky to have such support.

What’s your favourite wine produced at the vineyard and what’s your favourite way to enjoy it?

It’s an old saying but the favourite wine has to be the one in my glass at the time!  But seriously, we have some really wonderful wines which all shine on different occasions.  Our Seyval Blanc is full of zesty apple and lemon sherbet notes and is perfect for drinking with friends on a hot summer day.  At the other end is our Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs, which is rich, creamy and complex and perfect to eat with something indulgent, like lobster, on special occasions.

What can visitors to Bluebell Vineyard expect from a tour?

A very friendly greeting from our four yellow Labradors!  We are a family run vineyard and pride ourselves on making sure that visitors receive a very personal experience.  Our tours are fun, informal and informative and we take people through the whole grape growing and winemaking process in England as we do everything on site ourselves.  We visit the vineyard and winery before finishing with a tasting and make sure there is plenty of opportunity to ask questions. It’s a great opportunity to get behind some of the myth and mystique of the wine industry.

For information about more about the wine dinner and tour visit Ashdown Park Hotel

Barrel Aged Blanc de Blancs launched

We are delighted to introduce our very first Barrel Aged Blanc de Blancs. Produced from 100% Chardonnay this 2013 Blanc de Blancs was fermented in stainless steel before being aged in barrel for six months. It has spent a minimum of 30 months on lees before disgorgement.

It's tasting absolutely delicious - subtly spicy notes of vanilla, honey and citrus flavours with a creamy, rich finish. We think it's tasting pretty great on it's own, but with food it's absolutely delicious.

It's available through our website, at the vineyard and at South Downs Cellars in Lindfield.

Wine Pairing Dinner with Jilly Goulden at Ashdown Park Hotel

On June 2nd 2017 Bluebell Vineyard is teaming up with the historic Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club for a fun and fizz filled weekend to celebrate English Wine Week!

This weekend package is a must for all wine enthusiasts: Explore wine's journey from vine to table with a full guided tour around Bluebell Vineyard, followed by a private wine tasting experience. Sample further fine English wines with perfect food pairing for an evening of exquisite dining, hosted by renowned wine expert Jilly Goolden.

Also included in this package is transportation to and from Bluebell Vineyard, overnight stay and breakfast.

From £240.00 per person, based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Room.

Full details below on the Ashdown Park Hotel website 

Christmas Opening Hours

We are open Monday to Saturday including Christmas Eve 10am to 4pm but will be closed between Christmas and New Year.  

We will re-open on Tuesday 3rd January. Any enquiries sent between 25 December and 3rd January will be dealt with upon our return.

Launch of our first Magnum!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our first Magnum - the Blanc de Blancs 2009 priced at £55 via our website.

The Blanc de Blancs 2009 Magnum is something special.  Aged on lees for over 6 years, this wine which has developed delicious autolytic notes, supported by lots of red apple and citrus fruit notes, while retaining freshness and perfectly balanced acidity. 

Magnums are ideal for Christmas celebrations, corporate events and Christmas parties and would also make a great gift for the festive period. 

Winemaker, Kevin Sutherland gives some tips for Sparkling Wine & Food Pairing

Looking for inspiration for Christmas Food & Wine Pairing?  We asked our winemaker, Kevin Sutherland for some tips.

The key to food and wine matching is to assess the basic components of each and then to find a balance between the key characteristics so that they don’t overpower each other.  In general the acidity of sparkling wines make them great for matching with slightly fatty or sweet foods as the acidity cuts through in the way a lemon can cut through and cleanse the palate when eating smoked salmon.

Seyval Blanc 2013: a superb aperitif; but the slight sweetness also balances well with salt making it a great match for blue cheeses such as stilton.

Rosé 2013: This dry sparkling Rosé makes an excellent match with smoked salmon or high quality smoked ham canapés, but will also pair well with fruity desserts with a touch of acidity - think strawberry and almond crumble or raspberry pannacotta.

Blanc de Blancs 2014: the acidity in the wine, combined with delicate fruit flavours and a creamy finish, makes it a perfect pairing for Dover sole, scallops, fish and chips.
Winemaker's Classic 2010: The nutty, fruity notes, vibrant acidity and creamy texture of this wine make it a perfect match for dishes with butter and beurre blancs sauces.
Late-Disgorged Blanc de Blancs 2008:
Indulge yourself! The bubbles provide the perfect textural contrast to the smooth velvety texture of oysters or the richness of lobster.

Cheers to a fizzing 2016 harvest!

Harvest 2016 has just finished and the team are about to take a well earned rest!  

It's been an exceptional harvest, with fantastic quality grapes coming into the winery, full of delicious fruit flavours. Watch this space in a couple of years time to try the 2016 vintage!

Sussex women winemakers have got bottle!

We were delighted to join our local MP, Nus Ghani MP and other winemakers from across Sussex at a parliamentary reception to celebrate Women in the Wine and Spirits Industry yesterday, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Wine and Spirit Group. 

Commenting after the event, Nus Ghani MP said: “In Wealden we are hugely lucky to have some fantastic vineyards, and I’ve loved my visits to both Sussex Vineyards and Bluebell Vineyard Estates. I am especially proud that both of these vineyards have strong and successful women at the top, with Jonica and Joyce both leading their businesses from strength to strength.

“I was very pleased to be able to welcome them both to Parliament yesterday, where it was reinforced what a huge contribution women make to the wine and spirits industry. Wealden alone is showing that France no longer has a monopoly on outstanding wine, and Wealden’s women are showing that men no longer have a monopoly on running successful vineyards.”

Sussex Women Winemakers have got bottle!

Joyce Tay, Bluebell Vineyard, meets Nus Ghani MP, MP for Wealden 

Joyce Tay, Bluebell Vineyard, meets Nus Ghani MP, MP for Wealden 

Harvest 2016 is underway!

Harvest at Bluebell Vineyard began on Monday with our team hand picking our grapes before taking them to the winery to be made into delicious English Sparkling Wine.  Harvest will take around 3 weeks before the pickers retire for a well earned rest!

Sussex is looking beautiful in this autumn sunshine!

Join Bluebell Vineyard for an unforgettable harvest experience Saturday 15th October

The annual grape harvest is the pinnacle of the growing season, and the most exciting time of the year!  

Join our team while we pick the grapes in our beautiful vineyard before having lunch overlooking the vines, followed by a wine tasting from winemaker, Kevin Sutherland.

After lunch you will have the chance to taste the fruits of your labour by sampling the freshly pressed juice of the grapes you picked that morning, followed by a tutored tasting of our award-winning wines.

What can you expect?
10am: Arrive at Bluebell Vineyard and be welcomed by the vineyard team with a warming cup of tea or coffee.  We will explain how the grapes are to be picked and how we identify the best quality grapes to harvest for our sparkling wine.

10.30am: Start picking!  Our vineyard team will supervise you while you harvest the grapes and will be on hand to answer any questions you have about grape growing and wine making.  

1pm: Settle down for a heart-warming lunch overlooking the vineyard and enjoy a tutored tasting with our winemaker Kevin Sutherland.  Enjoy a glass of our award winning sparkling wine while you wait for the grapes you picked to be pressed.

2.30pm: Enjoy the fruits of your labour with a visit to the winery to taste the freshly pressed juice of the grapes you picked that morning.  
3pm: We finish our tour and you can head home for a well earned rest!

Tickets cost £35 and includes lunch.  

Time: 10am – 3pm
Call 01825 791561 or email to book your tickets.

Bluebell is recruiting pickers for harvest!

Bluebell Vineyard is recruiting grape pickers for this coming harvest. Starting around 10th October we are looking for hard workers with a good sense of humour. Harvest is expected to last around 3 weeks, with usual hours 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. You will need your own transport.

These are paid roles, with no experience necessary.  We will provide training and guidance on what is required during picking.  

For more information contact or call 01825 791 561.

Bluebell barn transformed for wedding celebration!

The Bluebell barn was transformed recently to create a beautiful bespoke backdrop for a glorious wedding celebration.  Using a canopy of fairy lights, elegant draping and the natural atmosphere of the wine cages, the 'Not Your Average I Do' team created a romantic wedding ceremony and drinks reception at the vineyard.

For more information contact Bluebell Vineyard at or visit

Hindleap Winemaker's Classic Blend 2010 wins best Sparkling Wine in South East

Bluebell Vineyard Estates 'Hindleap' Winemaker's Classic Blend 2010 was awarded the cup for Best Sparkling Wine 2016 by the South East Vineyard Association (SEVA). 

The cup was presented at the SEVA BBQ on Sunday 4th September, which was held at the Tinwood Estate in West Sussex.

The 'Hindleap' Winemaker's Classic Blend 2010, a Chardonnay dominant blend crafted by winemaker, Kevin Sutherland, has complex toasted notes of hazelnut and nutmeg on the nose, with lots of red fruit, peach and citrus fruits on the palate with a rich, bold and exceptionally long finish.  The wine has benefited from a minimum of 55 months ageing before release.

"We had some fun with this wine and crafted a special blend from a dedicated parcel of grapes grown in 2010.  Leaving the wine to mature on lees longer - 55 months in this case - before disgorging brings a totally different expression to the wine; mature, rich and developed, while still maintaining the freshness and acidity characteristic of our wines.” 



SEVA General Secretary, Belinda Mercer, presents Bluebell Vineyard Winemaker, Kevin Sutherland, with SEVA cup for best sparkling wine.

SEVA General Secretary, Belinda Mercer, presents Bluebell Vineyard Winemaker, Kevin Sutherland, with SEVA cup for best sparkling wine.