Stopham is known locally for its ancient buildings that were recorded in the Domesday Book. The main challenges in the vineyard are the deer that roam the parkland (Simon’s first job was to fence the vineyard to protect the vines from damage) and unsurprisingly, the weather. Simon practises sustainable farming and is aided by the south-facing vineyards, which maximise sun exposure and ripening, as well as the proximity of the Stopham farm animals, which provide copious amounts of organic fertiliser to boost the sandy soils. The Stopham Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are unique because they are made from predominantly vinifera varieties, rather than hybrids. Simon’s wines, like his pristine winery, are pure and precise, and in our opinion some of the best still wines made in England. We are pleased to begin listing his excellent ‘Brut Prestige’, a non-vintage sparkling wine which completes the range. It spends 30 months on lees before disgorgement and displays a delicate, honeyed brioche character, enlivened by subtle grapefruit and citrus freshness.