Ben Walgate grew up on a farm in rural Lincolnshire. ‘This was hugely significant in my upbringing,’ he says, ‘just having this connection with the land. I never really thought about this until fairly recently when I had my own farm, how at ease I feel with it all.’ Tillingham is a fantastic project run by Ben Walgate in East Sussex. It is situated off a winding country lane on a slope leading down to the Tillingham River which meanders down to Rye.
Ben uses organic compost across his five acres, and he plans to introduce sheep onto the land to help naturally control his cover crop and weeds. He's experimenting with biodynamic preparations to improve the health of his soil. In all Ben has planted around 10,000 plants including thirteen English and International grape varieties. His style is experimental, preferring natural methods and a 'try-it-and-see' approach, which is yielding some great results from this budding winemaker. It's exciting to see such passion and instinct from English wineries.