Charles Palmer came to the UK from New Zealand at 8 years old, settled in his ancestral motherland of Sussex and followed his father into farming. In 1998 he and his young family moved to the medieval town of Winchelsea, and in 2006 Charles decided the time was right to plant vines.

Winchelsea in East Sussex, is no stranger to wine, with a great history of wine trading dating back to the Norman conquest of 1066. Initially the Palmer family transformed 5 acres of their working farm into a flourishing vineyard at a time when English sparkling wines in particular, were receiving world acclaim for their quality with many rivalling Champagne. Today there are over 20 acres of vines with a further 10 acres earmarked for planting.

Charles Palmer Vineyards benefit from an ideal climate for vines, with its close proximity to the coast, south facing slope, and its terroir in particular. The lowest part of the vineyard is only 5 metres above sea level, and sits above a bed of Kimmeridgian clay similar to the Grand Crus of Burgundy.

Winemaker, Will Davenport, is considered to be one of the more serious, talented winemakers in the UK today. Will combines experience and training in both New World and Old World wine making, having worked for wineries in Australia, Alsace and California, and he is also a regular wine judge for one of the world’s leading international wine making competitions.

We are dedicated to producing quality English sparkling wine, hand selecting only the very best grapes for production. Every bottle has its own unique number; labels are signed and hand applied indicating that each bottle meets the family’s exacting standards.

2009 is our first vintage, producing a total of 956 bottles, it is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay. The wine achieves a perfect balance of sugar and acidity that results in a deliciously soft and rounded taste, with classic tones of apple, cherry and freshly baked pastry.

Charles Palmer Brut 2009 is a new one on me, with a lovely smooth mousse, which I found particularly impressive and a slow-building, gentle richness of fruit. Quite remarkable for a first vintage of less than a thousand bottles!

Tom Stevenson, June 2013

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