Luxury hotel near Horsham becomes one of the UK’s latest ‘vineyard hotels’

A luxury hotel near Horsham has teamed up with a South Downs vineyard to become one of the latest ‘vineyard hotels’ in the UK.

South Lodge Hotel at Lower Beeding has joined forces with Ditchling-based wine estate Ridgeview and the first of 19,500 vines are being planted at the hotel this week.

The vineyard will span nearly 15 acres across two south-facing plantings which will include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grape varieties although it will be two years before any grapes begin appearing as the vines establish.

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Ultimately it is planned to produce 30,000 bottles of sparkling wine from the vines, with the wine-making process firmly in the hands of the Ridgeview team.

South Lodge Hotel at Lower Beeding is to become one of the UK's latest 'vineyard hotels'

Once the vineyard is fully established, around 10,000 bottles will be produced solely for South Lodge and the wider ‘Exclusive Collection’ of hotels - of which South Lodge is part - and will be made available to buy from the hotels directly.

Exclusive Collection managing director Danny Pecorelli said that Ridgeview was a long-term partner of South Lodge and the two businesses shared the same vision.

“Ridgeview’s growing legacy of producing exemplary sparkling wine for over 25 years coupled with operating as a true family run business with strong sustainability pillars of people, environment and economics made the partnership choice quite simply, easy.”

He added that the project was “more than just creating world-class sparkling wines, it is about exploring the long-term possibilities open to us when working closely with our supply chain to co-create a product from the very land our hotels are situated.

The Ridgeview Wine Estate has teamed up with South Lodge Hotel to create a new vineyard

“We are extremely lucky to have the expertise of Ridgeview to support us on this exciting journey.”

Ridgeview chief executive Tamara Roberts added: “It is a rare privilege to be working with another family-led company who shares so many of our strongly held values and our vision for the future responsibilities of businesses to do the right thing socially, economically and environmentally.

“The opportunity to work with the Excusive team on their ambitious and exciting vineyard project could not have come at a better time for Ridgeview as our next phase of investment to double our production capacity is now underway.

“Guests across the Exclusive properties will be able to enjoy a unique, estate grown vintage sparkling wine which we have no doubt will be among the finest in England when ready for release.”

Ridgeview has been producing sparkling wine for more than 25 years