Zam Baring admits he was lucky. The son of the late Lord Ashburton of The Grange and his siblings already owned the 30 acres of downland just outside Winchester that would become Burge’s Field Vineyard in 2011. The flinty south-facing slopes have proved ideal for achieving the perfect balance of acidity and sugar in the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes they wanted to grow.
But turning that land into a profitable business in a hugely competitive industry has required hands-on hard graft, including many sleepless nights. “Faced with frost at a critical point in the growing season, you realise what commitment to your crop is all about,” he says with a smile.