A Truly British Brand
Since planting its first vines in West Sussex in 1998, Nyetimber has had a single aim for over twenty five years, ‘to make the finest sparkling wine’; something that is being achieved having geography, climate and determination on its side
Article by Marion Graham Photography Andy Barnham
The Nyetimber estate, first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086, is home to the brand and was also once part of the largest monastry in southern England. In 1536, Henry VIII seized Nyetimber Manor following the Dissolution of the Monastries. The monarch gifted it to Oliver Cromwell, later repossessing it and then giving it to Anne of Cleves. Today, owner and Chief Executive Eric Heerema and his family reside there, surrounded by centuries of history.
Nyetimber wine, now frequently seen as a rival to champagne, has been served at various prominent royal functions for years, especially to French guests. An advocate of British craftsmanship and produce, the vineyard has been an official partner of London Collections: Men since its debut in 2012.
Wine pioneers, Nyetimber were the first producer of English sparkling wine to exclusively use three celebrated grape varieties found in the Champagne region, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Eric and Chief Wine Maker Cherie Sprigs are committed to producing wines of a Grande Marque.
Owning 100% of their vineyards, all Nyetimber wines are produced on 152 hectares, spread across eight separate sites in West Sussex and Hampshire. Geographically, southern England is perfect for the production of sparkling wine. A chalk seam running under the lee of the South Downs means Champagne grapes flourish in ideal soil. Sheltered from the coastal winds, the climate allows for slow ripening of the grapes.
All wines are crafted according to the traditional method of ageing them for extended periods of time and giving the bottles sufficient post disgorgement before release. Nyetimber strives for perfection; in 2012 they chose not to pick a single grape due to the harvest not being of a high enough standard.