Champions Farm in Thakeham is now operating under the business name of Abingworth Vineyard and is currently seeking a ‘certificate of lawfulness’ from Horsham District Council to use one of its agricultural barns as a winery.
Agents for the farm – Fluid Planning – say that a vineyard was planted on farm land last year ‘diversifying the farm away from mixed arable and pasture.’
It says that establishment of the viticultural business is overseen by world renowned viticulture climatologist Dr Alistair Nesbitt of Vinescapes and the farm business is now also recruiting a vineyard manager to help run the business day-to-day.
The 110-acre farm now intends on pursuing wine making as its main business activity, says Fluid Planning. Almost 10 hectares of land have been planted with vines wine making is now due to start on site.
In a statement to the council ithe company said: “From 9.4 hectares, the winery is expected to produce 60,000-75,000 bottles of wine per year from around 83 tonnes of grapes.
“The production target is for a range of wines including high-quality Traditional Method sparkling Blanc de Blancs and a sparkling rosé, still white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc), still rosé (Pinot Noir and possibly Cabaret Noir), and still red wines (Pinot Noir and possibly Cabaret Noir).
It says the remainder of the farm land of around 87 acres is being retained as pasture for the grazing of sheep.