Sugrue South Downs announce acquisition of Bee Tree Vineyard in East Sussex, and long-term partnership with Coldharbour Vineyard in West Sussex.

Sugrue South Downs, widely admired as perhaps the UK’s leading boutique producer of English sparkling wine, has announced the purchase of the 1.4ha Bee Tree Vineyard, in East Sussex. Just ‘15 minutes by tractor’ from Sugrue’s “Grand Cru” Mount Harry Vineyard, source of their iconic “The Trouble With Dreams” and Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan since 2013. 

“Bee Tree is the perfect location to establish our own boutique winery” said husband and wife team Dermot & Ana Sugrue.

In addition to Bee Tree, which is planted mostly with Pinot Noir on a clay loam topsoil over Lower Greensand and sandstone, Sugrue has secured a long lease on the 7.35ha Coldharbour Vineyard established on chalk and flint soils near Pulborough in West Sussex in 2005. Sugrue will release their first Coldharbour Single Vineyard 2015 Blanc de Blancs under their Cuvée BOZ label next month, their first of many wines made exclusively from this site. 

“I’ve made every wine that has been released from Coldharbour since 2011” said Dermot Sugrue. “Since 2015, we’ve sourced a lot of fruit for Sugrue South Downs from this fabulous site and I’ve worked closely with the management team Liesa and Geoff for 20 years now – since our Nyetimber days together – so to consolidate this long-term collaboration and bring them into the Sugrue family could not be a better fit. It’s an exceptional and unique vineyard, and they are some of the most experienced viticulturalists in the UK.”

With Bee Tree and Coldharbour now fully integrated in the business, when added to the 2.2ha Mount Harry, planted in 2006, Sugrue’s vineyards under management have increased from 3.5ha to 11ha in 2023. “These are exceptional sites, I know them very well, as well as the people who established them. I have worked with them, over many, many years”, said Dermot Sugrue. 

Dermot is no stranger to a few well earnt rewards. During his tenure at Wiston they received WineGB Winery of the Year four times in his last five years. It was during this period, that he continued to build stock, lease vineyards, and release his own wines. They have been described by Hugh Johnson OBE as, “Spectacular. Honestly, England’s best” and “Perfect for lovers of grower Champagne”, by Jancis Robinson MW.

The news of Bee Tree Vineyard’s acquisition comes just six months after one of the UK’s leading boutique hoteliers, Robin Hutson, of The Pig hotels, revealed he had invested an undisclosed sum in the Sussex wine producer. Hutson, a long-time supporter of English wines, himself planted a vineyard at his most recent hotel, The Pig in the South Downs, Madehurst, West Sussex, in 2020.

Pictured: From left to right: Robin Hutson, Katie Last, Dermot Sugrue, Ana Sugrue, Geoff Hall, Liesa Davey and dog Tara

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