Chichester’s Ashling Park wins prestigious wine award at new £4 million vineyard
Ashling Park is now 'firmly on the global stage' after winning the UK’s most prestigious wine competition's top trophy for the second year in a row.
The estate, based near Funtington, has just opened up a new £4 million vineyard, with luxurious lodges designed and built by Will Hardie of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces.
Each year, WineGB hosts a blind tasting to find the best wines produced on British soil and, this week, Ashling Park has won Best Classic Cuvée NV,
“This is an outstanding achievement for us," said Gail Gardner, of Ashling Park.
“The UK is now being recognised as producing the best sparkling wines in the world, rivalling Champagne, we are so proud to win Best NV English Sparkling from WineGB for the second year running and this firmly puts Ashling Park on the global stage."
Some 300 wine producers entered wines which go through a 'rigorous tasting process' by the 'highest calibre of judges'.
These included British wine writer, television presenter and broadcaster Oz Clarke.
He said: "Ashling Park is a beautiful new wine estate near Chichester that is already producing some of the most delicious and characterful sparklers in Sussex. They will only go from strength to strength.”
Also to judge the competition were; TV presenter Susie Barrie MW; Saturday kitchen’s wine expert Helen Mcginn; Rebecca Palmer, wine buyer of Corney & Barrow; and Elizabeth Kelly, wine buyer of Majestic.
The award coincided with the opening of Ashling Park’s new £4 million project, 'creating a place of pure wine indulgence'.
At the newly built estate, 'beautiful 7,200sq tasting rooms' house an experience room, a shop, a gin school and a front row view of the vine canopy to 'enjoy delicious food pairing dishes with awarding wines'.
The wine estate has 20,000 vines, five luxury lodges, a gin room, interactive experience room, 50 Bee hives and tasting rooms with seasonal dishes. These have been 'cleverly designed' around their wine, bees and gin, such as local trout cured with Ashling Park’s own Pointer’s Gin.
Gail added: "We knew we had something rather special, it’s a hidden gem surrounding by 250-year-old oaks and lakes within the South Downs National Park.
"It was obvious whatever we created here had to be distinct and characteristic."
Along with the 'wonderful tourism destination', Ashling Park has an 'inspirational business model'.
It has created a multi-steam income with corporate conferencing and hospitality rooms.
A spokesperson for the estate said: "For those rainy days when a vineyard tour may not be for everyone’s liking, the warm fire and an experience room can give you the whole love story of our vine to wine in a very interactive way.
"It’s a family estate with three generations living and working here, even the teenagers play their part.
"The 50-acre estate has a little history behind it too as it was given to Lord Portal, second in command to Churchill for doing well in the war. I’m sure he will be raising a glass to us up there!"
The estate is open Thursday to Sunday, with guests advised to book in advance.