The Only Way Is… Blanc de Noirs From Sussex For English Wine Week

Press Release

The Only Way Is…

Blanc de Noirs From Sussex For English Wine Week: 28th May - 5th June

“In 2004 I was looking for a new challenge.  I had grown up on farms and had always been passionate about agriculture.  I also had a passion for wine and had become aware of the increasing quality of English sparkling wine, and what was possible when it was done well.  I attended a course at Plumpton College before enrolling on the degree course and started looking for the ideal site….

“After about 18 months of searching, I found the site that would become Henners Vineyard, where free draining sandstone soils, a steep south facing slope, and low altitude combine…” 

When Lawrence Warr, a former F1 race engineer, began his search for the perfect place to plant his English vineyard, he knew that finding the ideal combination of soil, aspect, slope, altitude and microclimate would be no mean feat - particularly if he wanted to produce a Blanc de Noirs blend.

His hunt began in 2004 and in 2007 he planted his first four hectares in Herstmonceaux, East Sussex, where, just four miles from the coast, his grapes would be grown on sandstone soils at 24 metres above sea level.  Warr named the vineyard ‘Henners’ in honour of his French ancestor, Henners Dubois, who was forced to flee Paris for England during the French Revolution.

Today, Warr’s 10 acre estate is planted exclusively with the traditional Champagne varieties - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  As he says, “My aim is to be large enough to do it professionally, but small enough to do it well”, and to this end he has planted a selection of different clones and rootstocks which are fermented separately to allow a broad palate of wine for the final blending.

Henners Brut 2010, East Sussex                                                                              12% ABV

RRP £22.99, D. Byrne & Co. & RRP £27.99, Corks Out

Providing a contrast to the estate’s Chardonnay dominant Reserve blend, the Henners Brut 2010 is a Blanc de Noirs assemblage of 56% Pinot Noir and 44% Pinot Meunier.  The grapes were whole bunch pressed at the lightest of pressures, with only the cuvée entering the blend.  “We’re aiming for wines that are beautifully linear, with a long finish - not oxidative in style.  We prefer to build up character in the wine via extended lees ageing over three and a half to four years.”


The 2010 Vintage

Winemaker Ben Murray says:

“Excellent flowering conditions in 2010 produced an abundance of full bunches.  The first sign of the 2010 growing season was the swelling of the Pinot Meunier buds in the first days of April; by the end of April, a good, even budburst and growth was being seen across all varietals.  Throughout April and May, the temperature in the vineyard continued to rise with a record high in May of 26oC.

“Flowering of the Pinots continued into the first week of July and harvest was complete in the second week of October.

“The first Pinot pressings started fermentation in cool stainless steel tanks on 10th October, and all wines were then left with their primary fermentation lees until malolactic fermentation had completed at the end of February.”

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Date of issue:                                    16 May 2016

Further information - emma wellings pr:  t 020 8996 5168  e kristen@ew-pr.co.uk