With his Burgundy-born mother, 33-year-old Vineyard Manager Phil has a love for good food and wine running through his blood.
I did the vendanges a few times as a teenager in the Côte d’Or and I think somewhere deep down in my conscience I always really appreciated the historical importance and nobility of growing grapes and making wine. It's a balance of hard graft, science and an almost artistic ‘feel’ for managing the vines. After a year at university I realised a traditional academic education wasn’t for me, and I craved something more hands-on and rewarding.
I enrolled to do a viticulture and eonology degree at the CFPPA de Beaune and spent 4 years in Burgundy studying and working as an apprentice primarily for Denis Bachelet in Gevrey Chambertin, as well as a handful of other producers in the region. I then came back to the UK and worked for Nyetimber supervising their Tillington vineyard until 2009, where I went to Hawkes Bay and worked in a winery for a vintage before returning to Burgundy and helping vinificate the epic 2009 vintage for Jaffelin in Beaune.
Following this I worked as a Wine Broker for Fine+Rare in London for almost five years before coming back to my real passion in the production side of the industry. I have managed Burge’s Field and West Park (Preston Candover for the Sainsbury’s) vineyards since June 2014.
Hampshire is an exciting place viticulturally and there are some of the top Sparkling Wines in the world coming from here at the moment. I love my job and look forward to the potential expansion and progression of Grange Estate Wines. With the first bottles becoming commercially available in 2018, it’s all going on and the future is super bright for English Sparkling wine.