Paul & Alice - Beacon Down vineyard

Paul & Alice - Beacon Down vineyard

Beacon Down English wines here

Beacon Down vineyard occupies 18 acres of the beautiful High Weald near Heathfield in East Sussex in England.  A designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the vineyard is set on gentle South East facing slopes with stunning views over to the sea and the South Downs.  

We probably first got interested in wine when we decided to put together a ‘Wedding Wine list’ for our wedding back in 2008, and ended up with about 300 bottles of wine thanks to our generous family and friends! The flat in Camberwell was bursting at its seams.  This coincided with our desire to learn more about what makes a good wine and where a good wine comes from, rather than just enjoying the drinking of it.  A number of holidays over the years ended up being in wine regions including Mendoza (staying at the wonderful La Tapiz bodega), Rioja Alavesa (staying in the beautiful hilltop town of La Guardia), and in Andalucia where we visited some wonderful sherry producers.

 It was a few years later that we both took our WSET L2 course at the West London Wine School and following that Paul achieved a 1st in his Diploma in Wine Production, graduating from Plumpton College in 2014.  This developed many of the skills to inform the vineyard and winery, and during which he also visited some fantastic wineries in Bordeaux including Chateau Batailley as well as the Vinitech industry show for the first time.  Paul supplemented his academics with study for his professional spraying qualifications, so he would be able to manage all aspects of caring for the vines, and practical experience at other English vineyards; a harvest at Winbirri vineyard in Norfolk with Lee and family in the early days, and a full year at Greyfriars with Mike, Hilary, Davd and the team, working both in the vines and in the new winery.   

We purchased the land which has become Beacon Down vineyard in 2014 and planted just shy of 10,000 vines in May 2015, which have thrived on the sandstone slopes and Sussex sunshine.  Paul leads all the vineyard operations, and Alice the marketing, tours and tastings. Like any small business we necessarily share a lot of other things between us.  We currently work with sussex-based winemakers and, following the first harvest in 2017, our wines have won a number of awards from the International Wines Spirits Competition, Sommelier Wine Awards, Harpers Wine Stars, and the Independent English Wine Awards. They all taste great, but are even better when being sampled from the vineyard itself – come and visit us soon!

To find out more and to try the wines click here.

Back to blog