It’s been a year of new beginnings for Dermot and Ana Sugrue at award-winning boutique English producer Sugrue South Downs: from their first vineyard purchase, Bee Tree Vineyard near Lewes in East Sussex; foundations are in for a dedicated winery and tasting room at Bee Tree; to Dermot moving on from his winemaking responsibilities at Wiston to concentrate on taking Sugrue South Downs to the next level.

There’s a new beginning on the sales side as well – we’re delighted to be taking on UK distribution of the wines from September. Winemaker Dermot Sugrue established Sugrue South Downs in 2006 when he planted a 1ha vineyard at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex. Dermot and his wife Ana now manage 11ha in East and West Sussex, producing a range of terroir-driven and single-vineyard wines, incorporating a broad range of large, old barrels and released at maturity after extended lee-aging in the cellar.

Investment by hospitality entrepreneur Robin Hutson, Chairman and Chief Executive of Home Grown Hotels and the Lime Wood Group, has enabled Dermot and Ana to focus on their own wines. They’ve taken on long-term leases on the Mount Harry and Coldharbour Vineyards, ensuring continuity of a high-quality grape supply from distinctive terroirs which Dermot has been working with for a number of years. Work is in progress to convert a barn at Bee Tree Vineyard to a winery, where the 2023 vintage will be made.

“I’ve been making wine in the UK for 20 years now, collaborating widely with great success. However Ana and I are now completely focussed on Sugrue South Downs, the boutique project I established back in 2006. It’s crucial we work with a distributor who understands our ethos and artisan roots, and that’s why Indigo are the perfect fit.”

Dermot Sugrue

Dermot and Ana’s quality-minded approach was recognised at the WineGB awards recently, where Sugrue South Downs was named Best Boutique Producer; Cuvée Boz Coldharbour Single Vineyard 2015 was named best Blanc de Blancs; and Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan MV was awarded Best NV/MV Classic Cuvée.

The Sugrue South Downs family of wines. Ana and Dermot in their recently purchased Bee Tree Vineyard near Lewes.

The full range of current releases – The Trouble with Dreams 2018, ZODO MV, Cuvée Boz Coldharbour Single Vineyard 2015, Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan MV, Rosé Ex Machina 2016 – will be available to taste with Dermot and the Indigo team at the Wines of Great Britain Trade and Press Tasting on Tuesday 5 September at Battersea Arts Centre. Register here for the tasting.

Read more about the project and wines.