Hampshire vineyard keeps its fizz with plans for winery

7th October, 2020

Grange Estate Wines near Winchester produces award-winning sparkling wine to rival that produced by the champagne houses of France.

Now it has taken a major step forward in its business plan.

With the help of Pro Vision, the rural enterprise has secured planning permission for a 2000sqm winery building at its vineyard on the edge of South Downs National Park. The building will have dedicated areas for winemaking, ageing, labelling and packaging, as well as an office, tasting room and space for marketing/corporate events.

The company’s carbon footprint will be considerably reduced as the grape harvest can be processed at source instead of transported to wineries near Portsmouth or Alton. The new winery will also enable other local vineyards to bring their grapes to the estate for production. Solar panels will help reduce running costs.

The planning application was submitted during lockdown at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, the team quickly addressed some landscape and highways issues, and consequently planning officers approved the application using their delegated powers.

Pro Vision associate director Richard Osborn said: “It was an unusual application in an extremely sensitive location. The winery site occupies a prominent position on the slopes of the Itchen Valley, straddling the South Downs National Park boundary. In these instances, it is essential for an application to be landscape-led, and to conserve and enhance the special qualities of the National Park. The location also required the application to be submitted to Hampshire County Council (rather than Winchester City Council) and the National Park authority who collaborated on a decision.”

“I’ve worked with The Grange Estate for many years on a wide variety of proposals linked to the diversification of estate-owned farmland. I’ve enjoyed working with Zam and the team on this project which will help an established rural business grow and create local jobs.”

Zam Baring, Managing Director of Grange Estate Wines, said: “Richard and the whole team at Pro Vision were quick, thorough, responsive and pragmatic. The whole process was kept on track by their attention to detail and tenaciousness.”

Pro Vision provided planning and ecology consultancy services, supported by London-based Timothy Hatton Architects, local highways consultant Nick Culhane, Alton-based landscape architects fabrik, and civil engineers Cowan Consultancy.

The 25-acre vineyard was first planted in 2011. The grape varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – also used in the production of Champagne. The Grange’s PINK NV sparkling wine won a platinum medal at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards putting it in the top 1% of the 16,000 wines entered into the competition. Earlier this year, the Estate won two gold and four silver awards in the International Wine Challenge, the Sommelier Wine Awards and the WineGB Awards.