In a return to the past, vineyards have been springing up around the world that use only organic methods to produce wines. In East Sussex is one of England’s best vintners that just happens to be organic, Sedlescombe. Roy Cook, an icon of organic viniculture, founded his first vineyard in 1979. Today, Sedlescombe is the first English house to release a ‘Biodynamic’ wine.
Roy and Irma Cook started on 1.5 acres in 1979. At the time, they lived in a caravan and were hoping to be self-sufficient. Today the vineyard has 18 acres under cultivation and they are internationally recognised for not only being an excellent organic winery, but simply for being an extraordinary winery.
The winery is located in ‘1066 Country’ near Hastings. They offer daily vineyard tours and wine tastings.
Biodynamic viniculture is based on lectures by Rudolph Steiner. There are no chemicals used in production, making the wine organic. Then the growing of the grapes incorporates lunar and cosmic rhythms in the timing of the application of biodynamic preparations. These biodynamic additions not only help the grapes, but also benefit the soil and larger agricultural community. Sedlescombe is certified by the Demeter Association.
Their wine offerings are quite extensive, including England’s first organic red wine.
Old Vine, English White Wine – Biodynamic
Bodiam Harvest – Biodynamic
English Dessert White Wine - Biodynamic
English Organic White Wine, Sedlescombe First Release - Biodynamic
Sedlescombe Regent – Biodynamic (England’s most expensive bottle of wine, according to the website)
English Red Organic Wine, Sedlescombe 2015 Regent-Rondo
English Organic Red Wine, Sedlescombe 2014 Corymbus
English Organic Rosé Sparkling Wine, Sedlescombe 2013 Rosé Brut
Best of British: English Sparkling Wine. Sedlescombe Pinot Noir-Chardonnay 2013 Organic
Best of British, English Sparkling Wine English Organic Sparkling Wine. Sedlescombe Pinot Noir-Chardonnay 2013 English Sparkling Wine, Sedlescombe 2013 Premier Brut - Biodynamic
Premier Brut 2014 Biodynamic
Sedlescombe Golden Apple, English Fruit Wine - Organic
Cherry Wine, Sedlescombe Organic Black Cherry Wine
Raspberry Liqueur, Sedlescombe Organic Blackberry Liqueur, Sedlescombe Organic
The Sedlescombe house is one of the most diverse and distinctive wineries in England and Europe. Their ability to produce a huge variety of organic wines is second to none and the quality easily rivals those of a house on the Continent, California, and the rest of the world. Since 2013 alone, the wine house has wone a stream of top awards such as:
International Organic Wine Awards - Silver for First Release 2016, Old Vine 2016, Bodiam Harvest 2016, Dessert 2016, Premier Brut 2014
Decanter World Wine Awards - 88 Points First Release 2015, 87 Points Regent-Rondo 2015
UK Wine awards - Silver for First Release 2016, Regent-Rondo 2015
International Organic Wine Awards 2016 - TOP Gold for Sedlescombe 2015 Regent Rose, Silver for both Sedlescombe 2015 First Release and Sedlescombe 2015 Old Vine
Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 - 89 Points for both Sedlescombe 2014 Corymbus Redand Sedlescombe 2014 First Release
UKVA Wine of the Year 2016 - Highly Commended
International Organic Wine Awards 2015 - Gold Medal for Sedlescombe 2013 Pinot Noir-Chardonnay and 2010 Regent. 2 Silver Medals for Sedlescombe 2014 Rubellite and 2013 Premier Brut.
International Organic Wine Awards 2014 - Gold Medal for Sedlescombe 2010 Rose Brut. 4 Silver Medals for Sedlescombe 2013 First Release, 2013 Bodiam Harvest, 2013 Gem of the Weald, and 2011 Blanc des Blancs.184 vineyards, 19 countries.
RegentForum International Quality Competition 2014 - Bronze Medal for Sedlescombe 2011 Regent Red
International Organic Wine Awards 2013 - 2 Silver Medals for Sedlescombe 2011 Regent Redand 2010 Premier Brut 170 vineyards, 13 countries. The First English Red Wine to win an International Award.
"International award for red wine from East Sussex" - BBC TV
"International award for red wine from British vineyard" - The Times
"Red wine from Sussex is named the top tipple" - The Argus
"Biodynamic British bubbly" - The Ecologist
The vineyard is worth visiting, the wine is well worth drinking, and the mission of organic wines, to reduce the amount of harsh chemicals in the environment, is one worth supporting.