Welsh winery Ancre Hill on sale for £15m

Biodynamic Welsh winery Ancre Hill is on the market with a guide price of £15 million in a sale which agent Savills describes “unusual to say the least”.

Ancre Hill, which is being marketed through property agent Savills, is one of the vineyards driving the conversion to organics in the UK.

Savills confirmed to the drinks business that current owners Richard and Joy Morris have decided to retire from the wine business. 

Working biodynamically since 2010, the estate includes 12 hectares set over two vineyard sites with a total of 30,000 vines. Ancre Hill gained official Demeter certification in 2014 and organic accreditation a year earlier in 2013.

With the first plantings in 2006, the estate bought the neighbouring Newton Court Farm in 2014 where it planted 8,000 further vines. Speaking to the drinks business in 2016, the estate said it was hoping to grow from making 15,000 bottles per year to 50,000 by 2022.

The sale also includes the wine brand and business; its organic and biodynamic certification; a fully equipped winery with vineyard equipment; a cider apple orchard and cellar door; a four; a 19th century, six-bedroom house; a four-bedroom farmhouse; gardens; an outdoor pool; a tennis court; garages; an office; a tractor shed; a greenhouse; a converted stable block; stone outbuildings; two cottages; and a building plot.

Ancre’s eye-catching orange wine. Image: Brunch Wine Bar.

Then entire estate covers an area of 55.48 hectares and is located a mile outside the town of Monmouth.

The winery, constructed from straw bales and lime mortar, was opened in 2015 by The Duchess of Cornwall. The interior of the building is said to have an approximate eight degree range whatever the external temperature.

It is fitted with a sedum grass roof and reed bed, while the winery itself boasts a Sutter press, stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, concrete eggs, a bottling line, riddling and disgorging machines, a wine pump, corking and wiring machines, a labelling machine, and racking equipment.

According to Savills there is potential to expand over a further 23 hectares on south west facing slopes. This would take the capacity of the estate to over 300,000 bottles per annum.

Served at the likes of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and nearby Michelin-starred eatery Restaurant James Sommerin, Ancre Hill’s wines include three traditional method sparklers; a still Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and rosé; an Albarino orange wine; and a pet nat made from the Triomphe grape – an Alsatian creation from 1911.

The business also makes around 5,000 litres of cider per annum from the cider apple orchard at Newton Court Farm.

Chris Spofforth, head of viticulture at Savills, said: “An open market vineyard sale on this scale is unusual to say the least. Ancre Hill’s biodynamic and organic attributes are entirely in tune with viticulture market sentiment at the moment; current owners Richard and Joy Morris and their team have been demonstrably successful in this regard.

“They have paved the way for a new owner to take Ancre Hill to the next level and build on a brand that has potential to become a dominant force in the UK viticulture market.”

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