Wine production has been a passion of our founder, Simon Fisher, for many years. Ever since he watched his mother make country wines as a child, fascinated by the process, the smells, sounds and the equipment she used.
It took a few years and a successful career in Architecture later to realise the dream and start producing wine commercially here in the UK.
We started production in 2009 and quickly realised how little we knew, this is one industry that teaches you patience, understanding and that every day is a school day!
By starting out as a winery, modelling our production on the California model of buying in grapes or leasing an area of a vineyard to make our wines we avoided a huge outlay initially and the usual 4 to 5 years most vineyards take to a viable marketable product.
Establishing a route to market we felt was key to a long term success in wine production before planting our own vineyard, this is still a long term goal and we have managed 2 privately owned vineyards in the past.
Wine production in the UK is growing rapidly, as an industry in 2016 we produced around seven million bottles of wine in the UK, up from five million the previous year and it is set to increase rapidly over the next decade..
English sparkling wine is recognised as being among the best, if not the very best sparkling wine money can buy. We are often asked why English Sparkling Wine has such a reputation and what makes it different. England is classified as a cool climate region, meaning we have a long and slow maturation of our fruit and this gives us many flavour characteristics or Phenolics that warmer climates simply do not achieve. Yes we face other challenges and we would be hard pressed to find a single vineyard owner in the UK who has not seen more than a few failed harvests, ourselves included.
We produce complex and dynamic sparkling wines that are multi dimensional, something that the warmer climates struggle with, there is also a lot of skill that goes into a Quality English Sparkling Wine as well as a lot of personal effort!
Our most popular sparkling wine currently is our Springfield Quality English Sparkling wine, we also have our Regent and a new fizz will be released later this year.
Birth of a Winery
When we arrived at Skid Hill Farm back in April 2012 this is pretty much what we found. It was actually worse than this with a lot more rubbish, debris and quite a lot of small four legged furry friends in almost permanent residence. We also boasted a very large wild bee hive in one wall and a lot of birds roosting upstairs.
It took a monumental effort, lots of hard work and patience with our landlord to complete the transformation.
The South East Vineyard Association & Wine GB
We are proud to be members of The South East Vineyards Association and are happy to promote English wine and wine production in the UK to it's full potential. The United Kingdom Vineyard Association & English Wine Producers recently merged to become Wine GB, the trading body that now reprasents all wine producers and vineyards in the UK.
The South East Vineyards Association is a member based organisation based in the South East of England. The aim of SEVA is to promote and support wine producers in Kent, Surrey, Sussex and South London.
The head of the organisation for the last few years has been Chris Foss, a wine producer himself and lecturer at Plumpton Agricultural College. Chris has been an invaluable source of support and advice through the initial tentative steps taken to form West Fisher and through our growth in the last 6 years.
In January 2015 we officially took over the day to day running and maintenance of a lovely 10 acre vineyard located in Piltdown, East Sussex.
Unfortunately the owners of the site were reluctant to invest in vital infastructure and left us with little of nothing in the way of equipment so we were facing an uphill struggle from the start.
After a very dissapointing harvest we were forced to conclude that the vineyard was not a viable option and would simply sap our resources with little or no benefit to us. We had no choice but to reluctantly pull out of the site at the end of the year.
Where to Find Our Wines
The main outlet for our wines at present is farmers markets, trade fairs, country shows or from us directly either from our shop page or at the winery.
Please visit our markets page for a current list of all markets for the month and any special events we are attending in the current month. Our news page lists big events coming up in the near future.