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

Our vineyard is 15 acres planted with 3 classic cool climate grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The characteristics of the area, ‘the terroir’ defines our fine wines, helping to make them balanced and unique.

Like Burgundy, we have warm summers and cold winters and we have South Facing vines. We are lucky to have the influence of the River Crouch too, which helps moderate the temperature throughout the year. Our Vines are also on slopes. It may not be steep like those in Alsace or Burgundy, but this still helps our grapes get as much sun as possible. We have clay soil to retain the heat, keeping the vines warm throughout the night and we are, of course, in a microclimate! Long sunshine days make Crouch Valley a perfect place to grow vines.

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 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.