The Grange appoints first in-house winemaker
The Grange, a 19th century Greek Revival mansion in Hampshire, has appointed former Gusbourne vintner Harry Pickering as its first in-house winemaker.
Pickering, who takes over from contract winemaker Emma Rice of Hattingley, has worked alongside Gusbourne’s chief winemaker, Charlie Holland, since 2015.
Prior to working for the Kent producer, he clocked up winemaking stints in France and New Zealand, having studied oenology and viticulture at university.
Having planted a vineyard within its grounds in 2011 and released its first vintage in 2018, this year The Grange is due to build its own winery.
As part of his role Pickering will set up a small, high-end contract winemaking operation. The winery at The Grange is due to have a capacity of 200 tonnes.
“We have a young vineyard and are extremely excited that Harry has decided to join us to help grow our understanding of the potential of the grapes from Burge’s Field,” said Zam Baring, a managing partner in the business.
“Emma and the team at Hattingley have done a fantastic job, but the time has come for us to move on and take things to the next level in our purpose-built winery under Harry’s watchful eye and finely-tuned nose.
“He is arriving in time to help oversee the build and fit-out of the winery, which we hope will be the centrepiece of our business and become a jewel among the vineyards of Hampshire and the whole landscape of English wine,” he added.
Pickering said of the appointment: “It is extremely exciting to be joining such an ambitious and talented team, who have both the ingredients and vision to create world-class, site specific wines from a unique piece of Hampshire soil.
“I am looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in creating the winery and building a winemaking team, as well as to gaining a deeper understanding of the fruit and wines that Burge’s Field can produce”.
The Grange is a 19th century country house-mansion and English landscape park near Northington in Hampshire owned by the Baring family.
It is the foremost example in England of Greek Revival architecture. The mansion owes its appearance to the architect William Wilkins, who, between 1809 and 1816, transformed it into what looks like an Ancient Greek temple.
Wilkins added classical façades, including the striking temple front supported on eight gigantic columns. It is now used as an opera venue.