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Wast Ashling Park Sparkling English Wine in Autumn 2017.

The English Wine Diaries Episode 61: Gail Gardner

Ashling Park Estate’s managing director planted vines in Sussex after falling for the winelands of Switzerland

On this week’s episode of The English Wine Diaries is Gail Gardner, Managing Director of Ashling Park Estate in the charming hamlet of West Ashling near Chichester.

It was after Gail spent some time living in Switzerland and was seduced by the romantic vineyards there that she convinced her family to plant vines back in Sussex and, in 2018 their English wine adventure began.

They planted the traditional champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as some Bacchus and Pinot Precoce, and have gone on to produce sparkling and still wines which have won numerous awards.

But with a fabulous estate at her disposal and a career in marketing, Gail wasn’t happy to settle for just producing award-winning wines. So, along with her team, she has developed Ashling Park into a thriving tourist spot that not only offers vineyard tours and tastings but a stunning first floor restaurant with views across the vines, luxury accommodation, designed by Lewes-based architect and Channel 4 Amazing Spaces co-host, William Hardie and there’s even a gin-making school.

We talk about the future of Sussex’s wine tourism, the pressure to keep winning awards and how Gail hopes Ashling Park will continue to be a family affair for years to come.

For more information about Ashling Park Estate  visit or follow @ashlingpark on Instagram or @ashlingparkestate on facebook. 

This episode of The English Wine Diaries is sponsored by Wickhams, The Great British Wine Merchant. Visit to see their award-winning range of English wine with free deliver on orders over £40. The English Wine Diaries listeners can also get 10% discount on their first purchase by entering the code TEWD10.

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