Our Story

Making our Dream a Reality… Crouch Ridge

About Us

Ross and Samantha’s love of wine and the beautiful Crouch Valley Region inspired them in 2010 to plant Crouch Ridge Vineyard overlooking the River Crouch in the scenic village of Althorne, near Chelmsford in Essex.

“Our passion is to produce fine wine from grapes grown in our vineyard. Good wines bring people together, we are excited about our wine; to us it is about sharing it with friends, old and new.”
Both Ross and Sam are 5th generation farmers in Essex. The Family farm at Althorne has evolved over the years from a dairy herd producing milk sold locally, to an arable farm growing cereals, to today a Vineyard where wine  made from our grapes is sold from the Cellar Door at the Wine Barn; Back in the day there was an Oyster Shack on the farm selling Oysters from the beds at Althorne Creek. Now we pair our Sparkling Crouch Ridge wines with local Oysters in our Restaurant and on our Outdoor Terrace.”

The Vineyard

Crouch Ridge vineyard is planted on gentle south facing slopes overlooking the River Crouch. The soil is predominately clay with mineral deposits; the long hours of sunshine and relatively low rainfall in the area make it an ideal location for growing vines.
The marine influence in the spring reduces the risk of frost, the long hours of sunshine and the low autumn rainfall in the area allows for high quality grape crops that produce fantastic still and sparkling wines which are consistently winning awards regionally and nationally. The vineyard is 15 acres planted with 3 classic cool climate grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The first vines were planted in October 2010, this was a risk as we originally planned to plant in the late Spring but due to one of the longest droughts that year we kept the vines in cold storage and planted in the Autumn. Unfortunately these Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines didn’t root properly and 99% died. We re-planted Oyster Shell Vineyard in May 2012, fortunately these Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines survived and now produce some fantastic fruit. A further planting of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay clones for Sparkling and Still wines were planted in Foxes Vineyard in May 2015 and Swallow Vineyard and Paddocks Vineyard in May 2016. Due to the demand for Pinot Gris in England and our cooler climate which is ideal for Pinot Gris we decided to plant this variety in our Homeguard Vineyard in May 2020. Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines are suited to the climate, soil and aspect at Crouch Ridge Vineyard in the heart of the Crouch Valley Region. The characteristics of the area, ‘the terroir’ defines our fine wines, helping to make them balanced and unique. Chardonnay & Pinot Noir our two noble Champagne varieties were chosen specifically to produce top quality Sparkling wines. Our Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are also grown to make fine Single Estate vintage Still wines.

The Wine Barn

We opened our Wine Barn in June 2019, here we showcase our fine wines, sample our wine before buying from our Shop or enjoy a wine tasting experience.

We say “come for the wine, stay for the view” as the raised terrace outside the Wine Barn allows visitors to enjoy the views of the Vineyard and Crouch Valley countryside overlooking the River. It is a  lovely place to sit and relax with friends and family with a glass of local Crouch Ridge wine or cup of coffee; the on-site café serves food & drinks. Daily specials are prepared by our chef to complement our wines.

Our passion is to produce fine wine from grapes grown in our vineyard. Good wines bring people together, we are excited about our wine; to us it is about sharing it with friends, old and new.

Crouch Ridge Estate
Althorne Hall Farm, Fambridge Road
Althorne, Essex CM3 6BZ

T: 01621 450450
E: [email protected]