The vineyards of Carr Taylor, in the picturesque Brede Valley just north of Hastings, were first planted in 1971. Recent expansion, alongside replacement plantings of different grape varieties, now generates up to 40,000 bottles of high quality white, rosé and sparkling wines from 37 acres of vineyards.
The whole enterprise, including a shop, nestles in glorious, rolling High Weald countryside. You can explore the vineyards on pre-bookable tours, which operate year-round. These tours explore the history of wine production at the site, the grape varieties grown, and the wine-making processes used. Everything is nicely rounded-off with a tutored wine-tasting session, involving 5 of Carr Taylor’s wines.
Local geology and geography – what the French term the “terroir” - are critical to successful wine-making in the High Weald. The Carr Taylor vineyard has clay loam soils overlaying iron-rich sandstone. This gives good underlying drainage, and the high mineral content from the iron adds to the wine’s distinctive and complex flavours. Only open, south-facing slopes are planted with vines; to ensure maximum exposure to sunshine and to minimise the potentially damaging effects of late spring frosts.
Just three miles north of the vineyards is the extensive Brede High Woods. The 262 hectare expanse of ancient woodland, with pockets of heathland, is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust. It is an ideal location for a long walk on waymarked paths, watching out for the site’s abundant wildlife as you go.
Carr Taylor Vineyard is signed up to Our Land, a website that promotes businesses based in protected landscapes who have pledged to care for their local landscape and promote what is special about it.