At Chilworth Manor Vineyard, our approach to growing vines has developed naturally from the way the gardens and estate have been managed as a whole. At its heart is a vision of sustainability supporting not only the vineyard itself but the wider environment. The countryside surrounding us is a haven for bird and wildlife and is a magnet for walkers, riders and cyclists.
Our major goal has been to phase out the use of herbicides and we have now introduced a mechanical hoe to help keep the weeds down under the vines.
Electricity used at the vineyard is generated by an array of solar panels and thanks to our geographical situation, no artificial irrigation is necessary! Any water we do use in crop management is collected as rainwater run-off from the vineyard barn roof.
We maintain grass cover between the rows and around the headlands – not only helping minimise soil erosion but encouraging beneficial insect populations.
The vineyard borders an extensive area of protected woodland along the Tillingbourne River – home to deer, badgers, foxes, dormice, owls and buzzards. The vineyard is also home to bee hives looked after by a local enthusiast. Our sustainable approach is for their benefit too!