With thanks to Jackie Curtis for the words and Christian Doyle for the pictures
Following a course in viticulture at Plumpton Agricultural College, Simon Woodhead made a major life change and planted 21,000 vines on a gently sloping sandy field in Stopham.
Five years later this should have been his best year ever in terms of production, but our miserable summer let him and the grapes down and he will be lucky to make 1,000 bottles of sparkling wine this year.
Growing & picking the grapes involves a lot of physical hard work. However to make the wine you need to be an alchemist and maybe even cast a few spells. The 2011 wine we tasted was extremely good. You can buy it in Pallant and won’t be disappointed.
And we weren’t disappointed in our Pallant ploughman’s lunch provided by Mark and Jonathan. Wonderful local cheeses, ham and scotch eggs and a marvellous game soup produced by the Soup Dragon to warm us up on a somewhat chilly day. As Wallace would say – “A grand day out Gromit”.
To find out more about Stopham Estate Vineyard, see their website: www.stophamvineyard.co.uk