Founded in 1952 by Major General Sir Guy Salisbury Jones, Hambledon, located in and named by the village that is the home of English cricket, is England’s oldest commercial vineyard. Salisbury Jones was a diplomat who, having been based in Paris, was a keen Francophile and a lover of French wines, and he recognised the potential of the chalk slope in front of the house. Taking advice from the de Billy family at Champagne Pol Roger, he planted the slope to Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc. The then still wines produced here went on to win a number of awards, were exported around the world, and were even, and despite the best efforts of an obstructive French customs official, served at a banquet for President Pompidou given by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at the British Embassy in Paris in 1972. The family sold the estate in the 1990s, and it was eventually bought by Ian Kellett, formerly managing director at Desdner Kleinwort Benson. He immediately enrolled in the world respected oenology course at Plumpton College in Sussex, and set about the restoration of the estate.

Research convinced him that sparkling wines were the future and in 2005 Ian planted a 10-acre ‘test bed’ of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to see which of the 27 different combinations of vine clones and rootstocks gave the best results. A team then travelled from Hambledon to France to meet Hubert de Billy, son of the chairman of Pol Roger, to revive the former relationship with the esteemed Champagne House.

In 2010 and 2011, having proven that the site could grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier with the appropriate qualities, the vineyard was converted into a company and raised funding from third party minority shareholders. The Hambledon estate comprises over  50 acres of vineyards and a gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery – the only one of its kind in the UK. In 2011 the final piece of the jigsaw slotted into place with the appointment of Hervé Jestin, chef de caves at Champagne Duval Leroy for 20 years, and an expert in minimal-intervention winemaking, who now directs all winemaking at the Estate.





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HAMBLEDON Classic Cuvée         29.95        27.50