A unique opportunity for a purchaser to acquire England’s oldest organic vineyard estate with a well-established award winning brand and offering significant potential for further development.
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A unique opportunity for a purchaser to acquire England’s oldest organic vineyard estate with a well-established award winning brand and offering significant potential for further development. Planning consent for new build 60 cover restaurant.
Sedlescombe Vineyard is situated amidst magnificent countryside, set in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in the heart of 1066 Country with its superb range of historic and heritage attractions drawing in a huge number of visitors to the area. The ancient Abbey town of Battle is about 5 miles to the east with its excellent range of shops, supermarkets public houses and restaurants as well as a main line station with regular services to London Bridge/Charing Cross. The coastal towns of Hastings and Bexhill are some 8 and 10 miles to the south respectively whilst the larger centre of Tunbridge Wells is about 21 miles to the north. The estate is in a sought after and accessible location, situated directly off the B2244 Hawkurst Road, the A21 London Road close by linking to the M25 London Orbital and major motorway network. Gatwick, Luton, Stanstead and Heathrow airports are all within easy reach. The Channel Tunnel at Dover is about an hour by car.
Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard offers a rare opportunity for a purchaser to enter the rapidly expanding English Wine industry and acquire a well established and respected organic English wine estate with significant potential for further development. The 16 acre estate comprises a 3 bed AOC chalet bungalow, a fully equipped winery and associated buildings, popular tourist attraction with retail outlet, tasting bar and bistro, three planted vineyards and a parcel of ancient woodland. Recently planning consent has been granted for a new build 60 cover restaurant offering an exciting opportunity for a purchaser to develop the catering and events side of the business. The property enjoys a superb rural yet accessible location with stunning views over the High Weald countryside.
The accommodation comprises of a south facing timber framed and timber clad chalet bungalow subject to an Agricultural Occupancy Condition (AOC) constructed in 1987 to low energy use specification with a solar panel and wood burning stove powering the hot water and heating. Set at the centre of the holding enjoying views over the vineyards and countryside beyond, the residence, which would benefit from some updating, briefly comprises of 2 reception rooms, a spacious kitchen/dining room, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 cloakrooms.
Additionally there is a separate mobile home on site with full planning consent to provide accommodation for a vineyard worker.
The property is accessed off the west side of the B2244 Hawhurst Road through a wide, well signed tarmac entrance way with cork oak trees set to either side. A pair of wooden field gates lead through to a hard surfaced designated visitor car and coach park. From here a further access track leads from the main car park down to a smaller car park immediately to the front of the shop and winery and finally on to the residence which has a private parking area to the front. The residence has a raised wooden veranda skirtin g the rear leading down to a lawned garden incorporating a lawn tennis court taking in wonderful views. The vineyard is also home to about 20 ‘dragon’s teeth’, large concrete anti-tank obstacles that were placed on the site at the start of World War II. The dragon’s teeth were restored in 2012 by present owner Roy Cook and now provide an interesting feature for visitors.
WINERY AND EQUIPMENT
The fully equipped winery building comprises of a brick based and steel framed barn of about 2,181sq ft with corrugated metal cladding (also incorporating the shop and wine tasting area to the front of the building). As part of the advised sale guide price, the Vendor is offering an extensive range of winery equipment and vineyard machinery and equipment including a modern Willmes 2.5 tonne tank press, stainless steel crusher/de-stemmer, filter and vacuum bottle filler, glass fibre vats, barrique oak barrels, Renault Dionis 130 and MF135 vineyard tractor and Berthoud sprayer. A full inventory is available upon request from the Vendor’s Agent.
The vineyards extend to about 12.5 acres and are mostly south facing and sloping with a clay and sandstone soil mix well suited to viticulture. The vines are planted in three separate vineyards all set around the residence and winery buildings. Red grape varieties include Regent and Rondo and with white varieties including Müller-Thurgau, Solaris and Johanniter. There is also potentially further vineyards nearby to lease by separate negotiation from third party land owners.
The estate also benefits from an attractive parcel of mixed woodland of about 2.7 acres situated to the south of the holding suitable for coppicing and incorporating a nature trail. There is also a sizeable pond that has become overgrown but could be reclaimed to make a pretty feature.
This is an exceptional opportunity to purchase an up and running English wine estate, established in 1979 by owners Roy and Irma Cook and benefiting from a rich heritage and a highly respected internationally acclaimed brand with a strong USP of being England’s oldest organic vineyard. The estate now produces a range of award winning red, white, rose and sparkling wines under its own brand label, Sedlescombe Biodynamic Wines of England, amounting to up to about 20,000 bottles annually. The Cooks have been pioneers of the Organic English Wine industry since planting their first vines on the property in 1979 (1,000 Reichensteiner vines that remain on the estate today). Organic farming and conservation have been at the heart of the enterprise as it has continued to grow and develop over the last 38 years.
TOURISM AND RETAIL
The estate has established itself as a popular tourist attraction welcoming some 5,000 visitors annually, generating related income from tours, tastings and direct sales of wine through the shop. Sedlescombe Vineyard is listed in the top 10 vineyards to visit on the visitsoutheastengland.com website. The shop is situated at the front of the winery building which also provides for a tasting and catering area with new cloakroom facilities. There are exciting opportunities to develop onsite tourism and function facilities, as part and parcel of continuing growth, including the recent planning consent for a new restaurant facility.
NEW RESTAURANT DEVELOPMENT
Planning consent has recently been granted, by Rother District Council reference RR/2017/865/P for a 60 cover new build restaurant with additional outdoor seating and mezzanine office. The proposed building has been designed by food and wine tourism specialist architects SCD Design and is to be sited in an elevated position to capture the picturesque views over the vines and countryside beyond. The permitted trading hours are between 0900 and 1800 seven days a week, with an allowance for six private evening functions monthly between April and October. Further details and planning documents are available upon request.
The vineyard has been successful in winning national and international awards and recognitions for its wines and processes, including features on the BBC and in The Times and The Daily Telegraph.
Most recently, the International Organic Wine Awards 2016 presented a Top Gold award for Sedlescombe’s 2015 Regent Rose and Silver for both 2015 First Release and 2015 Old Vine.
Decanter World Wine Awards 2016 awarded a Bronze for Sedlescombe 2014 Corymbus Red and 2014 First Release.
In 2013 Roy Cook was awarded the prestigious Golden Acorn Award by the international cork industry for his continued use of cork stoppers which in turn supports the threatened unique eco-systems of the cork forests of Portugal and Spain.
Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard is certified under the DEFRA approved Biodynamic Association Certification scheme complying with the BDAA Organic Processing Standards.
GENERAL PROPERTY INFORMATION
Mains water and electricity. Private Drainage.
EPC Rating ‘F’
Rother District Council www.rother.gov.uk
Council Tax Band ‘D’.
RIGHTS & EASEMENTS
The property is sold with any easements, wayleaves, covenants and rights of way that exist whether mentioned in these particulars or not.
TENURE AND POSSESSION
The property will be offered freehold with vacant possession upon completion.
METHOD OF SALE
For sale by private treaty.
PLANS & PHOTOS
The plans contained within these particulars are not to scale and are for identification and guidance purposes only. Not all photos contained within these particulars are current.
Strictly by appointment with the Vendors’ Sole Agent, Samuel & Son.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Samuel & Son and their clients give notice that: 1. They have no authority to make or give any representations or warranties in relation to the property. These particulars do not form part of any offer or contract and must not be relied upon as statements or representations of fact. 2. Any areas, measurements or distances are approximate. The text, photographs and plans are for guidance only and are not necessarily comprehensive. 3. It should not be assumed that the properties have all necessary planning, building regulations or other consents and Samuel & Son have not tested any services, equipment or facilities. Purchasers must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise.