The original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent, dates back to 1410. The de Goosebourne family crest was made up of three geese and can be found in their local parish church in Appledore – nowadays, each and every bottle crafted at Gusbourne carries a contemporary goose crest in honour of their heritage. This ‘Goosemark’ is a symbol of trust, representing their pursuit of uncompromising quality.
In 2004, Andrew Weeber took over the estate with a clear vision and a single goal: to create English sparkling wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe. The first vines were planted that year.
Their debut vintages of Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2006 and Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2006 were released to critical acclaim in 2010. Gusbourne quickly earned a reputation as a producer of outstanding quality wines, with accolades from some of the industry’s most exacting critics.
A combination of the best age-old traditions with modern technology and cutting-edge equipment allows Gusbourne to sit comfortably between old and new world winemaking, while at the same time bringing their own exacting quality standards to the process. Respect for the vineyards, the fruit and the natural elements involved in winemaking means that their approach favours minimal intervention.
All of the grapes used in their winemaking are sourced solely from Gusbourne vineyards. they have 60 hectares at Gusbourne Estate in Kent and 30 hectares in West Sussex that are planted with the three classic varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Aligned with their vision to create the finest wines they possibly can, they plant predominantly Burgundian clones in their vineyards. These clones produce lower yields than other classic clones, but the resultant fruit is riper and has significantly more flavour, making them ideal for the production of fine sparkling wines. The distinct terroir and exceptionally mild microclimates add their own depth and complexity to the wines. Gusbourne aims to allow the combination of site, soil and hard work in the vines to reflect in every bottle. As such, they interfere as little as possible with nature’s process, preferring to let the grapes speak for themselves.
Their winemaking is a slow and measured process. They follow strict, self-imposed parameters to maintain their exacting standards and keep intervention to an absolute, while still ensuring the best expression of their wines each and every year.
Together with Gurbourne, chief winemaker Charlie Holland has produced some of the world’s most celebrated sparkling wines, winning numerous international awards and becoming the only three-time winner of the IWSC English Wine Producer of the Year.
In the vineyards, the grapes are hand-picked by their dedicated vineyard team. All of the bunches are sorted in the vineyards, with only the highest quality grapes brought into the winery. Here, they are gently pressed in whole bunches to yield only the best juice, which is then fermented in thermoregulated stainless-steel tanks and a selection of oak barrels. A process of strictly regimented juice selection allows us to carefully choose the individual lots of base wines while maintaining the characteristic style of our range.
Once bottled, the wines are stacked by hand in the cellar before beginning a period of prolonged lees ageing. Extended time on the lees is essential for adding depth, and Gusbourne wines spend a minimum of 28 months in the process. Once disgorged, extended cork ageing further enhances the complexity of the wines.