Vineyard Blog

Restored Mill Tasting Room at Nutbourne Vineyards

"Nutty" Sparkling Wine and Broad Bean Hummus – perfect for a summer party

Sometimes vineyard visits start with a lot of research. On other occasions, I’m going to be in a particular area, pick a local vineyard and make my own first impressions. So it was with Nutbourne Vineyards.

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View from the restored Mill at Nutbourne Vineyards

I had to go to Sussex and picked Nutbourne mainly for its position near Pulborough, but also as a vineyard with lots of still wines, as sparkling seems to get all the credit and we at EnglishWineLovers like to champion the good still wines too.

So it was that I drove through picturesque villages and turned up a lane into a farm. It’s always lovely to see a well-tended vineyard, but the site of the restored mill draped in bunting and overlooking the vines was glorious.

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Bottles of Nutty with their certificate for winning the Gore-Brown Trophy for best overall English Wine of 2013

Unfortunately I hadn’t allowed enough time for a proper traipse around (to which visitors are positively encouraged) but was welcomed into the mill by Frances, who couldn’t have been kinder explaining about the vineyard and the wines and letting me taste them all. How funny that I had been deliberately searching out a vineyard with still wines, only to find that “Nutty”, their sparkling blend of Pinot Noir, Reichensteiner and Chardonnay, has just been awarded the Gore-Browne Trophy (for overall wine of the year) at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition 2013.

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Preparation of Broad Bean Hummus at The Shed in Notting Hill

I tasted the Nutty and some very pleasant still wines, too, but all too soon it was time to head off with a few purchased bottles, of course. Tasting Nutty later with friends revealed a delightful clean, fresh fizz with a slight floral nose. The most exciting thing for me was to taste a really great English fizz that wasn’t trying to be champagne.

Upcoming in my calendar was a party with fellow members of the Early Swirlers wine tasting group in Guildford. Our biannual parties are totally unpretentious, but we do take bringing of an interesting bottle and matching food reasonably seriously. Nutty was clearly a great wine to taste, but what to serve with it?

Two sons of the family who own Nutbourne have a restaurant called The Shed in Notting Hill. “Well, if they don’t know what goes with it, who does?” I thought. Richard Gladwin was kind enough to get straight back to EnglishWineLovers and recommend his Broad Bean Hummus. All I can say, is “thanks a lot, guys” I was able to hold my head up at the party amongst some pretty tough challenges!

Recipe reproduced below. If you follow it properly (as I initially failed to do – thanks to Kath for the last minute rescue) you get a really yummy dip, that I fear is quite possibly addictive…

The Shed’s Broad Bean Hummus

Ingredients (to serve 4):

200g podded broad beans, 20g butter, 3 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon tahini, 1 tablespoon crème fraiche, 1 spring of mint, salt and pepper.


Blanch podded beans in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 1 minute

Refresh immediately in iced water

Bring all ingredients together using a blitzer

Taste for seasoning and garnish with left over whole beans.


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