So how many wineries are there in Sussex? That’s a question we are often asked at Oastbrook as we are on the Kent and Sussex border. Actually there are two Sussexes, East and West. As there were two historical groups the East and West Saxons. There are two still two flags one blue for the whole county showing 6 martlets and one red for East Sussex.
Oastbrook lies in the Rother Valley which winds through Sussex. As soils of Sussex are very varied there is a great variety of terroir. Starting in the East with the Rother Valley, it is predominantly clay, silt and sand. These soils are shared by Oxney Estate the largest Organic Vineyard in England and Tillingham, which specialises in Natural Wines. Oastbrook itself sits on a sandstone ridge. Towards Heathfield there is Hidden Spring and Off The Line. As we head further west we encounter more chalky soils at Rathfinny and Wiston near to the sea and some greensand inland at Stopham. So back to that question – how many wineries are there in Kent. We estimate that there are at least 30 wineries in Sussex. They produce anything from a few thousand hand crafted bottles like Oastbrook to several hundred thousand in the case of Nyetimber, Bolney and Ridgeview.