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English wine news including new Hattingley Valley winemaker

Published:  07 July, 2022

Award-winning English winery, Hattingley Valley, has appointed a new head winemaker, Robert MacCulloch MW.

With over two decades of experience in the wine industry, including a dozen winemaking harvests across five continents, MacCulloch previously held the position of client winemaker for Hawke’s Bay Wine Company in New Zealand.

MacCulloch holds the highest-level wine accolade, the Master of Wine (MW). He is one of a few full-time winemakers experienced in both wine production and wine commerce and boasts extensive skill with sparkling, white, rosé and red wines in both cool and warm climates.

On his appointment, Robert MacCulloch MW said: “I’m deeply humbled and thrilled to become head winemaker at Hattingley Valley, during a hugely exciting time for the expanding English wine industry. I’m really looking forward to working alongside Simon Robinson and the talented team that he’s assembled to make England’s finest traditional method sparkling wine. My role and challenge will be to build on the superb legacy of wine quality that Emma Rice has created whilst exploring new qualitative directions for Hattingley Valley’s winemaking.” 

Simon Robinson, founder and owner of Hattingley Valley added: “I am delighted that Robert has agreed to join us to take Hattingley on the next stage of its journey. Robert has all the experience and drive needed to take us forward and I very much look forward to working with him.” 

In addition to the above appointment, current Hattingley Valley operations winemaker James Rouse, who has been with the company since 2019, will be promoted to winemaker.


In other English wine news, Denbies Wines Estate has opened a new wine library at its vineyard hotel.

The main feature of the Wine Library is a magnificent floor-to-ceiling wine wall, displaying a range of Denbies vintages dating back to 1993. An enomatic wine machine is the central focus of the wall, where customers can select from a choice of wines to taste by the glass.

At a time when climate-friendly solutions are in the greatest demand, Christopher White, Denbies CEO, has pledged to offset the investment in future projects with a percentage investment in green initiatives.

Outside the hotel, electric car charging points and cycle parking facilities have been installed to encourage visitors to use sustainable transport methods.

Christopher White comments: "As one of the UK’s major wine producers and one of the largest wine tourism destinations in the south-east, we feel it is important to make major changes when the opportunities present themselves. The development of the hospitality side of the business has presented a perfect opportunity. This latest investment will be a big draw for eco-friendly tourists looking to stay in the area."


Hambledon Vineyard, England’s oldest commercial vineyard established in 1952, will release an exclusive anniversary edition chess set, as part of its 70th anniversary this year.

Only 20 sets will be produced and made available through the House’s website, as of this October (