Born in Ireland in 1974 where he grew up and lived until moving to the UK in 1992. He attained an Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England in 1996 - Europe’s leading centre for climate research – and then qualified and worked as an Independent Financial Advisor throughout the east of England. Having made wine, beer and spirits throughout his adolescence, and obsessed by wine, he then studied Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton Agricultural College, Sussex.
Following vintages in the UK he completed two seasons working in Bordeaux, at Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet, Pomerol and Chateau Leoville-Barton, St Julien, before returning to the UK in 2002 to help establish a new winery in Suffolk.
In 2003 he joined Nyetimber Vineyard and was appointed Winemaker in 2004. Over the following years he oversaw Nyetimber’s emergence as one of the world’s greatest sparkling wine producers.
In 2005 he met Harry and Pip Goring and discussed their vision of a vineyard at Wiston Estate vineyard and the possibility of creating a winery. After working the 2006 vintage in Champagne for Jacquinot & Fils, he returned to the UK to begin his journey at Wiston and to fulfil his ambition of setting up a major winemaking operation in West Sussex, with newly-planted vines on Wiston’s exceptional south-facing chalk soils.
That same year Sugrue also planted the “Trouble With Dreams” vineyard at Storrington Priory, with wines released under the SUGRUE SOUTH DOWNS label some years later. The 2010 vintage of ‘The Trouble With Dreams’, was awarded the highest ever score by Decanter Magazine for an English Sparkling Wine, and by 2020 SUGRUE SOUTH DOWNS was rated as the finest producer of English Sparkling Wine by Hugh Johnson OBE – the world’s best-selling and most respected international wine author - in his annual guide.
The wines that Sugrue has created over the last two decades have been widely acclaimed as the best sparkling wines ever produced in England. They have won the Decanter Trophy, the International Wine & Spirits Competition Trophy, the International Wine Competition Trophy, the Independent English Wine Awards Trophy, all for Best UK Sparkling Wine, and on numerous occasions too. In 2018, Sugrue’s Wiston wines won almost every trophy at the Wine GB Awards, including Supreme Champion, Best UK Sparkling, Best Blanc de Noirs and the coveted Winery of the Year award. (“The best thing I’ve ever achieved.”). Wiston would win Winery of the Year again in 2020 & 2021, dominating the awards on each occasion. Other notable repeated successes have come in the Sommelier Wine Awards, Harpers Wine Stars, Drinks Business Masters and the Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships.
Dermot is the grandnephew of Dr Brendan O’Regan, the legendary Irish visionary who established, amongst other great achievements, the world’s first Duty Free shop at Shannon Airport in 1947, and the Shannon School of Hotel Management in 1951. In 2017 Sugrue released Cuvee Dr Brendan O’Regan’ in his honour – a wine described as “monumental" by Susie Barrie MW,
“Spectacular. Honestly England's best" by Hugh Johnson OBE. The late Steven Spurrier described Dermot simply as, “the best winemaker in the UK”.
Born and raised in Zagreb, Croatia where she completed a BSc in Horticulture and MSc in Oenology & Viticulture at the University of Zagreb. She studied an exchange program in Germany at the University of Hohenheim and Spain at Rovira Virgili University in Tarragona before her winemaking career took her to Peru, New Zealand, California and then back to Germany.
Before coming to England, she spent 4 years working in the Austrian Danube region, initially at Schloss Gobelsburg, one of Europe’s most historic wineries, famous for Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. After two years she then moved to Burgenland in Austria as the Assistant Director at Umathum, a winery specialised in high-end indigenous red grape varieties - Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and Saint Laurent.
Deciding to continue her academic career she signed up for the Masters of Wine course. An introductory course for the MW was held in London where she used the opportunity to visit some of the English wineries and taste wine from a new winemaking country that everyone is talking about. After asking where to go and whom to talk to, she was directed to Wiston Estate and Dermot Sugrue, who was introduced as /the best winemaker in the UK'.
She moved to the UK in June 2020 and took on the job at Plumpton College as their Winemaker and Wine Lecturer.
In August 2021, she decided to leave Plumpton and focus on Sugrue South Downs.
In thteir small company she is the Vineyard Manager, which she adore's and Dermot continues to make the wine. Her responsibilities also include the sales and marketing.