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Gusbourne appoints new head winemaker

Mary Bridges is poised to lead the Kent-based vineyard into a new era of winemaking excellence

Gusbourne, one of the UK’s leading sparkling and fine wine producers, has announced the appointment of Mary Bridges as head winemaker.

Having joined the winemaking team in 2018, Mary has spent the last six years working closely with former head winemaker, Charlie Holland, to create some of Gusbourne’s most exceptional vintages and was promoted to oenologist in 2020.

Having grown up in Scotland in a farming family, Mary’s love of the land developed early along with an instinct for the flavour alchemy created by good wine. Before Gusbourne she completed a degree in Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton College and the went on to spend time abroad working with well-renowned wine producers in the South of France and California. It was here that she became fascinated with the intricacies of production and winemaking and returned to the UK to explore the fast-growing opportunities on this side of the Atlantic.

Jonathan White, CEO at Gusbourne, comments: “We are delighted to welcome Mary as Head Winemaker. She is incredibly talented and knowledgeable in her craft and her careful attention to detail and infectious passion for oenology make her a perfect match for Gusbourne. I am thrilled with how she has settled into her position and I’m excited to see how uses her skill and expertise to further cement Gusbourne as England’s finest wine producer.”

Mary’s first job when she took over the prestigious head winemaker position in September was to oversee the 2023 harvest, which is so far Gusbourne’s largest, and most exciting to-date. Working closely with head of wine operations, AJ Benham, and head of wine communications, education and style, Master Sommelier, Laura Rhys, the close-knit team looks forward to harnessing the potential of 2023’s harvest as Gusbourne enters a new chapter of innovation and growth.

“The craftsmanship, collaboration, and dedication to quality at Gusbourne is second to none and I strongly believe we can continue to set a high benchmark for the industry,” says Mary. “I feel honoured to be able to showcase the special terroir of our Kent and Sussex vineyards in the best possible light and to help play a defining role in the future of Gusbourne, and I hope in turn, the dynamic and booming industry as a whole.”