Meeting Ben Walgate at Tillingham
We recently met up with Ben Walgate in Peasmarsh, near Rye in East Sussex. This beautiful mixed farm, dating from the 13th century, is home to grazing livestock, ancient woodland and fruit trees. In addition, Ben has co-founded Tillingham, establishing a vineyard in order to make natural and biodynamic wines. While still in the early stages – Ben has been making incredible wines using bought-in grapes – the farm has now been planted with 36,000 vines of different varieties and he plans to begin production using his own grapes when the vines mature in a 2021. Ben is farming without pesticides. He is making wine by adding wild yeast to his hand-crushed grapes and fermenting in traditional terracotta Georgian qvevris, as well as in steel, oak and concrete vats.
We sat down to discuss Ben’s experiences so far,
as well as his concerns for the future and the support he needs.
Many thanks to Ben for the generous amount of time he spent with us.
And to the talented photographer, Benjamin Youd, for helping us to tell Ben’s story.
Learn the difference between organic, biodynamic and natural wines below: