As winegrowers, we pride ourselves in crafting terroir-driven sparkling wines using grapes only grown on our Dorset vineyard. We take a low-intervention approach to both grape growing and wine production, constantly striving to minimise our environmental impact and produce honest wines that reflect our terroir.
At the heart of the Langham Estate sits the magnificent Bingham’s Melcombe manor house, Grade I listed and little changed since the reign of Edward VI. Acquired by John Langham in 1980, Bingham’s Melcombe became the centre point for the Langham Agricultural Enterprise, today comprising over 1,000 hectares.
The Langham vineyard was originally established by John Langham on a very small scale. In 2009 John’s son, Justin Langham, decided to develop his father’s rudimental vineyard into a commercial venture, and planted 30 acres of land at their Crawthorne farm.
With a south-facing aspect, chalk soils and a unique microclimate, Crawthorne vineyard provides the perfect terroir for ripening the classic Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunier. Established hedgerows provide natural wind breaks and habitat for a large variety of beneficial organisms. Growing our own grapes means we can pick at optimum ripeness, free from the shackles of contract purchasing and resulting in a better quality wine.
We are constantly working towards reducing chemical intervention in the vineyard, employing diligent canopy management executed at specific times. By increasing air flow through the canopy and promoting biological control organisms, the effects of disease are kept to a minimum. All our grapes are handpicked, and rigorous vineyard selection ensures only the highest quality grapes arrive at the winery.
Housed in a characterful old barn, the winery provides the perfect fusion of old and new. With a selection of temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and used French barriques, we have all the tools required to produce exceptional wines. With the winery located within metres of the vineyard, the grapes that are so carefully nurtured throughout the year are picked and processed within a few hours, avoiding the need to transport the grapes and risk compromising the quality.
At Langham we are truly passionate about what we do. Read on to get to know a little about each member of our team.
Justin has always had a passion for wine, and in 2009 decided to make his dream a reality by planting a 30 acre vineyard site at Crawthorne Farm.
Before planting the vineyard, Justin toured many of the world’s most venerable wine regions and studied viticulture at Plumpton College. The combination of these experiences gave Justin the foundations for establishing a world-class wine estate.
Despite having numerous other business commitments, you will often find Justin rolling up his sleeves and helping to load the press or drive the tractor.
After a season of labelling and bottling wine as a summer job, Tommy developed a love for English wine and left school to work a harvest at Sharpham Vineyard in Devon where he then progressed to Assistant Winemaker. Tommy joined the team here in January 2019 as Assistant Winemaker, working with Daniel Ham, to focus on producing world class sparkling wines without fining or filtration and minimal SO2 additions.
In January 2020 Tommy took on the role of Winemaker and plans to continue and develop the ethos of minimal intervention, not because of the growing trend in ‘natural’ wine but purely based on the complexity of the end product. In addition, Tommy has attained his WSET level 3, carries out public tastings for Emerging Vines and has judged for the Independent English Wine Awards.
Olly, Vineyard Manager
Olly joined us in June 2018 us from the 55-acre estate at Exton Park where he was Assistant Vineyard Manager.
Olly found a passion for Viticulture and Wine whilst working on a vineyard during a gap year in New Zealand in 2008. On his return to the UK, he studied at Plumpton College for the FdSc in Wine Production, and also spent time working at Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire. Next, he joined the vineyard management consultancy Vine Works where he gained experience on a wide range of terroirs, pruning systems, and different management ideas.
“The importance of making good wine is being part of the growing process, as much as the actual wine making. I love the fact that a small change in a job in the vineyard can affect the flavour of the end product.”
Fed, Tasting Room Manager
Growing up amongst the vineyards of Italy, it was inevitable that Fed would, one day, return to his roots and in 2018 he graduated from Plumpton College, having studied Wine Business.
After several years in Hampshire managing a small sparkling wine company Fed joined us in January 2020 and is excited to work in a larger winery with a great reputation. “I am looking forward to learning more about all aspects of the wine making process and being part of a larger team where I can work with others who share my passion for wine.”
Fed is also a judge for the International Wine Challenge as well as being a senior judge for the Effervescents du Monde, held every year in Dijon.
Lauren, Assistant Winemaker
Lauren joined us in February 2020 fresh from her studies at Plumpton College where she completed her MSc degree in Viticulture and Oenology. After starting her career in outdoor education and retail, Lauren found her passion for wine whilst working at Majestic Wine, where she completed her WSET level 3 with distinction. While working for English Oak Vineyard in Dorset throughout her Master’s, she gained invaluable viticultural experience which she hopes will help her during her new role as Assistant Winemaker with Langham.
“I’m excited to develop my winemaking skills, putting theory into practice. I’m looking forward to working closely with the vineyard team to create the best wines possible here at Langham. You can make bad wine with good fruit, but you can’t make good wine with bad fruit.”
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