Ancre Hill, Monmouthshire

Richard Morris is a man of vision. When I first heard that the vineyard over the valley from my house was producing great sparkling wine (on red sandstone) I baulked at the idea. When I hear it was biodynamic, I simply dismissed the idea. Then I tasted the wine, the Blancs de Noirs, and my interest was piqued. Richard planted his vines over 10 years ago using GDC (Geneva Double Curtain) for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay intended for use in sparkling wine, 6 hectares in total. There is also now Triomphe, enough for 1000 bottles, and Albarino. Of course. The vision Richard had was first to become organic and subsequently biodynamic, but also to recognise that his son David was the person who could carry this legacy on. David trained at Plumpton, worked at Nyetimber and then out in the vineyards for several producers in Calce. He is a friend of Thomas Theibert (Horizon fame) and a studious viticulturist, so passionate and dedicated that when you meet him it is suddenly easy to believe the biodynamic wines can be made in this corner of Wales. The cellar is constructed of compressed straw bales and lime render to allow it to breath. They clean all their water using natural filtration pools (around which grow the plants used for the biodynamic preparations), have their own gyro-pallets, Nomblot eggs, Nomblot cubes, Damy barrels, Stockinger foudre and a few stainless steel vats. This is a seriously impressive operation and rendered totally real by David’s razor focused attitude and vision. The sparkling wines are very impressive, worthy of a seat at the top table, and the wines coming through now are just stellar. The still wines have freshness, of course, lightness of touch but complexity and real style. This is Wales, not burgundy, but David has coaxed impressive character and drinkability from his fruit, and all without the use of chemicals. This is a truly visionary estate.

Blanc de Blancs

Pinot Noir Chardonnay Rosé

Chardonnay

Triomphe

Pinot Noir