Behind The Vines: Tillingham

Tillingham winemaker in vineyard

The UK Natural Wine scene has exploded over the past few years with Sussex based Tillingham and producer Ben Walgate quickly rising to the top with global acclaim, but, what's the story behind the brand?

Tillingham is the brainchild of Ben Walgate who has been in the wine game for sometime having previously been CEO of another British wine icon, Gusbourne. Work began apace at Tillingham in 2017 when Ben bought in some grapes, purchased some second-hand winemaking equipment and began his journey of producing natural, organic and biodynamic natural wines in his own unique and off-piste style.

Ben has an innate curiosity for ancient winemaking with a huge amount of buried Georgian clay urns (Qvevri) lying beneath a Victorian oast house that sits in the centre of the Tillingham estate and are used to produce some incredible wines including one of our favourite Orange Wines, Qvevri Orange 2019.

In May 2018, Tillingham's first vines were planted with over 20 grapes varieties planted across seven blocks and sheep from a neighbouring farm released to graze between the vines, and restoration of the walled-garden began.

Having spent the past few years producing wines from other vineyards grapes a momentous release has just become available, Tillinghams first ever wines using solely their own grapes. In stock now are Field Blend One, Field Blend Two and Saw Pit.