A 152-acre Sussex estate with its own commercial winery and vineyard has been put on the market for £4.5 million following the sudden death of its owner last year.
Kingscote Wine Estate near East Grinstead in Sussex was bought by Christen Monge, a marketing guru, in 1999 who had dreams of turning it into a commercial winery. The estate originally formed part of the 1,000 acre Gravetye Estate, which was once owned by the famous English horticulturalist William Robinson.
Its first vines were planted in 2010 on south facing slopes, which once formed part of the original English country garden established by William Robinson, followed by further additions in 2011 and 2013. The estate’s first vintage was produced from grapes harvested in 2014. However just one year later, in May 2015, Mr Monge died suddenly of a stroke at the age of 61, prompting the estate’s sale.
Overseen by winemaker Owen Elias, the estate produces over 100,000 bottles a year from its 15-acre vineyard, which it planted with Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Bacchus, Pinot Blanc and Regent grapes. The estate currently produces three wines; its Bacchas Chardonnay, Fat Fumé and The Bacchus, with a Kingscote sparkling wine set to be released in May 2016. A two-acre apple orchard was planted in 2011 with 14 different varieties of classic English apples, including Bramley, Jonagold, Cox and Spartan, from which Kingscote’s sparkling ‘cyder’ is made.
The estate itself includes a Medieval Ironmaster’s house, holiday let, fishing lakes, five-bedroom farmhouse and a restored 15th century barn, which has been converted into a visitor centre and cookery school. The Grade II-listed farmhouse is said to date back to the 14th century and a 15th century.
Interest in the English wine industry is currently booming, with Champagne house Taittinger most recently announcing plans to plant its first vineyards in the UK.
Savills is handling the sale of the estate.
The estate’s wine shop. Credit: Savills
Its 15-acre vineyard is planted with Bacchus, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grape varieties. Credit: Savills
The estate’s five-bedroom farmhouse dates back to the 14th century. Credit: Savills