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Simon at New Hall Wine Estate

Winery Profile

New Hall Wine Estate

Essex’s oldest commercial winery, with a bang up to date approach to winemaking and sustainability.
Hemmingway once said that things tend to happen in two ways: gradually, and then suddenly.

With the Crouch Valley suddenly becoming recognised as one of England’s pre-eminent regions for still wines, it could be easy to overlook an estate in this part of Essex that has been gradually building the area’s reputation since 1969.

This estate is New Hall and as far back as the 1970s, its wines were already picking up awards in international wine competitions. In 1983 the estate was one of the first in England to produce a traditional method sparkling wine made solely from classic Champagne varietals.

To put this in context, 70% of UK vineyards have been planted in just the last 10 years – which means that most English wines you will taste are from vines that have not yet reached full maturity. In an industry that is still serving its apprenticeship, New Hall is the wise master.

Yet, for much of its history, New Hall has been known mainly to industry insiders as the go-to source of some of the country’s best quality grapes. Wines made from their Essex-grown fruit were often noticeably riper and more opulent than those made from grapes grown elsewhere. But this didn’t always cut through to the English wine-buying public.

Which is why, after all this gradual work, it is so thrilling to see New Hall suddenly emerge as one of England’s best-regarded wine producers, as well as one of its best grape growers. With the winery upgraded and reopened in 2021, and a refresh of the label design coming on stream from the 2022 vintage, it is fair to say that New Hall has had a ‘glow up’. Winemaking too has had an upgrade, with recent vintages under the estate’s new, young team, showing significantly greater polish, concentration, and elegance than ever before.

The Shock of The New

New Hall is Essex’s oldest wine estate, yet with all the energy and enthusiasm on show when you visit, somehow it feels like one of its newest.

Visiting New Hall

The Crouch Valley may be booming, but many of the region’s vineyards have been planted as farm diversifications – sites where grapes are grown and sold off, but there are no estate-labelled wines, or places to visit and taste.

New Hall is a notable exception, with a cellar door shop, a vineyard walk that routes you alongside some of England’s oldest vines, and a calendar of tasting events. It’s highlighted by local wine expert Kirsty Woodgate as one of best three Crouch Valley vineyards that you can visit in a day – so what are you waiting for?


Kirsty Woodgate at Newhall Vineyard Best vineyards to visit in Essex

Sustainability at New Hall

Newhall Vineyard one of the best vineyards to visit in Essex

New Hall is home to some of England’s oldest vines, including a parcel of Pinot Noir planted 50 years ago – so looking after the long term is nothing new here.

Maintaining the health, vitality and longevity of the heritage vines is at the forefront of Estate Manager Andy Hares’ vineyard practices. Having learnt his craft in French organic vineyards, in the last few years he has introduced a policy of low-chemical intervention, mechanical weed control and a diverse range of cover crops. Most recently, he planted almost 5 acres of wildflower meadow, and has joined the RSPB’s Operation Turtle Dove to monitor and support their declining population.

Highlighted Wine: New Hall Baron’s Lane Red 2022

New Hall produces a superb, well-priced range of single varietal wines from Bacchus and Pinot Noir – where else can you find English wines from 50-year-old vines at under £20 per bottle?

Yet some of England’s best value wines can be found in their Barons Lane range – as long as you’re willing to cast your net beyond the best-known international grape varieties.

The Barons Lane Red 2022 for example is a blend of Rondo, Regent and Acalon – varieties that thrive in Essex’s climate – and which produce a wonderfully ripe, fruit driven, and full-flavoured red. The 2022 (an excellent English vintage) is reminiscent of top-quality Cotes du Rhone, with abundant dark berries and spice character. Like Cotes du Rhone, it is an excellent match for slow-roasted lamb shoulder, or a charry ribeye steak. However, at just 11% alcohol, you can share a bottle of Barons Lane without feeling it the following morning.

New Hall Barons Lane Red