Imagine you’re enjoying a beautiful glass of wine. You could be chatting the evening away with loved ones, creating a culinary masterpiece or simply relaxing in the garden on a lazy afternoon.
Now imagine that wine is made in a way that not only protects, but actively gives back to the natural world.
Well, that’s where the idea for Penn Croft Winery came from.
It was born of a meeting of like minds – Simon Porter, a twenty-year veteran of sustainable agriculture, and Malcolm Walker, a well-travelled filmmaker who’d spent ten years interviewing the world’s most pioneering winemakers.
We got talking (over a glass of wine) and discovered a shared vision: to create a planet friendly winery. The kind that uses sustainably grown grapes and champions biodiverse viticulture.
And so we did.
Simon planted the first vineyard in 2019, on the gentle slopes at the low western end of the North Downs in Crondall, Hampshire. This ancient and beautiful area provides the perfect conditions for producing sustainable wine.
Construction of the winery followed in early 2020 and we were open for business by September that year, just in time for the harvest. From two rusty old barns to a fully operational winery in just eight months was quite an adventure to undertake, but we have no intention of putting the brakes on anytime soon.
We’re the first to recognise that grape growing lags a bit behind building wineries, so in collaboration with our sister company Itasca, we brought in some grapes in 2020 to make our first wine.
Our Bacchus debuted in 2021 – and we were delighted to win a bronze medal for it at the 2021 WineGB industry awards.
Filmmaker, Producer and wine traveller. As a director, he has directed some of the UK's top TV series for both the BBC and ITV. Malcolm directed and produced Cellar Rats, a wine TV series, which has taken him around the world interviewing winemakers, including many in the emerging English wine industry.
Simon has farmed locally for over forty years. For over twenty of them he has been a tireless advocate for Regenerative Agriculture to address climate change, nurturing his soil to increase hydration and biodiversity; and stimulating water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles to contribute to cooling the planet.
An award winning winemaker. Ben has 14 vintages under his belt and has worked in wineries in New Zealand, Western Australia, Tasmania, Canada, The Alsace and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.