We are incredibly proud to be one of the earliest pioneers of the English wine industry, with a history stretching back over 40 years. We've always strived to produce the best quality wine, from fruit carefully grown in the unqiue climate of the Dart Valley, mixing both modern and traditional techniques. We've had some inspiring people on the team over the years, and are lucky enough to have bought many with us over to our new site at Sandridge Barton.
Maurice & Ruth Ash purchased the Sharpham Estate in the 1960's and with them, bought their Jersey Cows from Essex on the train. Over time, they developed the idea of making a French-style soft cheese from the milk and planting some trial vines on the sunny south-facing slope in front of Sharpham House over-looking the river Dart.
13 different varieties were first trialled in 1981 and the little known variety Madeleine Angevine seemed to show the most promise. From this, the first vineyard was then established.
The first wines were released in the late 1980's and were well recieved. This made a difference from the more Germanic style of wines crafted by most other UK producers at the time. Sharpham Wine was so well recieved, the Dart Valley Reserve became the first and only English wine to be selected as Co-op's own brand English wine selling over 10,000 bottles.
The Ash's nephew, Mark Sharman, took over the running of the wine and cheese business and the reputation soon grew. As well as the quality of the wine and vineyard planting, more vines were planted in the mid 90's. Some of the new varieties included Pinot Noir, Dornfelder and Phoenix, thus slightly increasing production and the range of wines.
Duncan Schwab, who is still our head winemaker and now CEO, joined the team in 1992 working in the vineyard, but soon moved into the winery as a winemaker. The reputation of the wines grew further again, with the help of Ian A'court and Peter Sudworth managing the vineyards.
Our final transition took place with our relocation across the river Dart to our new home on the Sandridge Barton estate near Stoke Gabriel. We built our state of the art winery and completed our first harvest in 2020 with our visitor centre opening its doors in June 2022.
We can't wait to welcome to our new home, where we will continue the legacy built at Sharpham over the past 40 years, and continue to produce excellent wines made with grapes grown in our Dart Valley vineyards.
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Sandridge Barton Wines Ltd is a company registered in England & Wales No 11938282. Registered office: Sandridge Barton, Waddeton Road, Stoke Gabriel, Devon, United Kingdom, TQ9 6RL. Sharpham cheeses are hand-produced by Sharpham Partnership Limited