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THE PIG in the South Downs will look out over its own vineyard Image: The PIGS and Limewood Group

Staycation 2021: The new vineyard hotel to check into this summer

THE PIG-in the South Downs will overlook 4,000 vines in the West Sussex village of Madehurst

English wine fans looking for a staycation this summer have a new vineyard hotel to add to their must-visit list. THE PIG-in the South Downs is set to open in Madehurst, near Arundel in West Sussex, this summer and will feature the hotel group’s first vineyard.

A two-acre South West facing field, directly in front of what will become the main restaurant of the new hotel, was previously used for grazing alpacas. However, the free-draining, chalky subsoil with silt and clay, together with its elevation and orientation, offers excellent conditions for planting the varietal vines of Champagne and Burgundy.

A total of 4,000 vines have already been planted at the site, home to the Grade II listed manor house formerly known as Madehurst Lodge, and include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as a small quantity of a secret experimental variety. 

THE PIG’s team of kitchen gardeners, led by Ollie Hutson and Alex Coutts, with input from Head of Wines Luke Harbor, will be nurturing the vines and eventually creating the wines following the first harvest, which is expected next year.

A new crop of English wines

If all goes to plan the vineyard could yield up to 4,000 bottles of sparkling wine or 6,000 bottles of still wine, although the team is so far remaining tight lipped about what styles they might make.

The passion project is the brainchild of Robin Hutson, Chairman of THE PIGs and wine enthusiast, who has long hankered after making wine in the UK and sought guidance from his winemaker friends including Ian Kellett from Hambledon Vineyard in Hampshire and Charles Simpson from Simpsons Wine Estate in Kent.

“I can’t wait to taste that first glass, albeit a couple of years away yet,” says Robin. “The investment further endorses our complete commitment to home grown, to local produce and to local contractors.” 

THE PIG-in the South Downs will be the eighth hotel in the group meaning guests can now stay at a PIG in every south coast county of England.

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