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Hidden Spring

Hidden Spring have 23 acres over at Vines Cross, near Horam in the heart of the East Sussex countryside, 13 of which are planted to vines. Vines Cross is named after John Vyne, the vintner of Hellingly in 1595. The first vines on the Hidden Spring site were originally planted in 1980 by former navy commander Mike Smith and in 1986 new owners Martin Doubleday and Chris Cammel established a commercial vineyard which enjoyed many years of successful grape growing and winning awards - famous for their colourful Art Deco style and witty labels like the “Ginger Nun”. Hidden Spring changed hands again in the mid-1900's and from 2007 the vineyard was converted into a camp-site and the vines were grubbed up. Chris Phipps, and David McNally took over the estate in 2015, both coming from IT backgrounds and both passionate about wine. They had always wanted to own a vineyard, but it wasn't until a trip to New Zealand galvanised them and they started to look at prospective locations in earnest. They had been looking for around two years when they heard about the Hidden Spring site, but didn't learn that it had previously been a vineyard until they visited, and that was it! Chris is the viticulturist and David is the winemaker: he trained at the prestigious UC Davis for two years, before transferring his studies to Plumpton, the UK's leading wine education institution. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Bacchus and Pinot Gris are cultivated and crafted into impressive wines in their modern winery which was opened in 2017. Their label speaks volumes about the vineyard's heritage. Like many Sussex villages Horam was involved in the iron industry, the ironstone in the clay soils was at the heart of cannon making alongside charcoal from the many surrounding woodlands, which saw most English cannon made in the area up until 1770. Hidden Spring’s logo reflects this iron industry heritage and combines the classic form of the old cast iron estate gates of their property, intertwined with vines. This small boutique winery crafts classy still and sparkling wines, and really demonstrates that English wine deserves a platform on the world's stage.