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Kent’s original vineyard, Biddenden has been owned and managed by the Barnes family since 1969.


Today, the vineyard is run by the second and third generations of the family, drawing on many years of experience in winemaking. The estate was originally home to a 40-acre apple orchard, but the decision was made to diversify to viticulture when apple prices began to decline in the 1960s.

Driven by a spirit of innovation and inspired by a feature on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour programme about English vineyards being replanted, Joyce Barnes decided to transform the family orchard. In 1969, one-third of an acre of vines was planted, with the first wine being bottled in 1972.

Today, this single-estate vineyard spans 23 acres and produces around 80,000 bottles annually.

The Vineyards


Biddenden is situated on gentle south-facing slopes in a sheltered valley just outside the picturesque Wealden village of Biddenden. All vine work on the estate is still carried out by hand, including pruning, canopy management and picking, with harvest running from mid-September right through to November.

The vines have been trained using a modified Geneva double curtain system, whereby the vines are trained along a lower wire and shoots are tied up high to create a good protective canopy while allowing air circulation.

Ten varieties are planted, producing a range of wines from still to sparkling. All wines are estate-grown with fermentation taking place in stainless steel tanks and bottled onsite. Still wines are usually bottled around February/March and released late June – September.

The winemaker here is also the vineyard owner, Julian Barnes.

The wines