Sugrue South Downs announce acquisition of Sussex Vineyard Bee Tree
Long term partnership with Coldharbour Vineyard also announced
Sugrue South Downs has bought 1.4ha of Bee Tree Vineyard in East Sussex. This vineyard is just 15 minutes by tractor from Sugrue’s “Grand Cru” Mount Harry Vineyard, the source of their iconic “The Trouble With Dreams” and Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan. Husband and wife team Dermot & Ana Sugrue said of their acquisition, “Bee Tree is the perfect location to establish our own boutique winery”.
In addition to Bee Tree, planted mostly with Pinot Noir on a clay loam topsoil over Lower Greensand and sandstone, Sugrue has secured a long lease on the 7.35ha Coldharbour Vineyard established on chalk and flint soils near Pulborough in West Sussex in 2005. Sugrue release their first Coldharbour Single Vineyard 2015 Blanc de Blancs under their Cuvée BOZ label next month, their first of many wines made exclusively from this site.
“I’ve made every wine that has been released from Coldharbour since 2011” says Sugrue. “Since 2015, we’ve sourced a lot of fruit for Sugrue South Downs from this fabulous site and I’ve worked closely with the management team – Liesa and Geoff – for 20 years, since our Nyetimber days together. To consolidate this long-term collaboration and bring them into the Sugrue family is a wonderful moment for us. It’s an exceptional and unique vineyard, and they are some of the most experienced viticulturalists in the UK.”
With Bee Tree and Coldharbour now fully integrated into the business, when added to the 2.2ha Mount Harry, planted in 2006, Sugrue’s vineyards under management have this year increased from 3.5ha to 11ha. “These are exceptional sites, I know them very well, as well as the people who established them. I’ve have worked with them, over many, many years”, said Dermot Sugrue.
Dermot is no stranger to a few well-earned rewards. During his tenure at Wiston the estate received WineGB Winery of the Year 4 times over the last 5 years that he was there. It was during this period that Dermot continued to build stock, lease vineyards, and release his own wines. His wines have been described by Hugh Johnson OBE as, “Spectacular. Honestly, England’s best” and “Perfect for lovers of grower Champagne”, by Jancis Robinson MW.
The news of Bee Tree Vineyard’s acquisition comes just 6 months after renowned hotelier, Robin Hutson, of PIG Hotel fame, announced he had invested an undisclosed sum in the Sussex wine producer. In 2020 Hutson, a long-time supporter of English wines, himself planted a vineyard at the group’s newest hotel, THE PIG-in the South Downs in Madehurst, West Sussex.
Featured photo – from left to right: Robin Hutson, Katie Last, Dermot Sugrue, Ana Sugrue, Geoff Hall, Liesa Davey and dog Tara