Davenport Cellar

Davenport

In 1991 Will Davenport planted 2 hectares of vines at Horsmonden in Kent and started unintentionally a life-long business as a wine producer.

Will studied winemaking at Roseworthy Agricultural College in Australia, worked in the London wine trade and has done a variety of stints working in Alsace, California, Australia and the UK before setting up his own winery.

In 2000 he made the decision to convert all the vines and winery to organic systems, certified by the Soil Association. At the time this was seen as a huge risk and he was something of a pioneer in organic wine production in this country.  There are still not many of them as UK climatic conditions, (ie generally quite wet) make organic production more challenging.

Today he has 10.5 hectares planted with 9 different varieties and 8 different bottlings including 4 different Sparklers, a Pet Nat, 2 Pinot Noir and a his classic white blend.

Production is now around 40,000 bottles a year in total in a good vintage and the vines are reaching an age when they are producing very high quality fruit.

The aim has always been to make wine of the highest quality possible and to make wine that is a true expression of their grape varieties, soil and climate. Will believes that the best way to achieve this is by interfering as little as possible and letting nature take its course.  Copper and sulphur are used to control mildew, along with plant extracts made from seaweed, comfrey and nettles. Will himself is something of a nature boy, rough hewn with workers hands and a quiet intelligence. The wines he makes are some of only a few we have tasted that seem to possess a very definite English personality. He seems to be establishing the notion of ‘Terroir’ in the UK and the wines taste very English (in a good way). 

Will also looks after the rest of the family farm at Rotherfield which includes a small flock of Wiltshire Horn sheep, some bees and a lot of wildlife and woodland.

In 2022 Davenport Vineyards took on the management of a much larger farm, owned by Will’s mother. This includes 43 acres of non-organic vineyards and 70 acres of apple orchards. The non-organic grapes are sold to another winery and the plan is to move the management towards being organic over a period of 5 years, giving the established vines and the soil time to adjust.

For us, Davenport wines have always represented a benchmark of style for UK wine.  The classic white blend has that light, fruity, elderflower scented character which has come to be synonymous with English wine and his superb Sparklers always have the delightful citrus freshness which seems to mark them out from Champagne and represent the slightly cooler climate.  Although English wine continues to grow and quality improve, Davenport remains a standard bearer and also continues to represent outstanding value for money against some of the pricier competition.

 

Davenport English Wine Sussex

Will Davenport

See all our wines from this producer

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Diamond Fields Pinot Noir
Davenport Sparkling Rose
Davenport Sparkling Auxerrois
Davenport Estate Sparkling 2018

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