In 2007, clearly looking for a change of pace, ex-Formula One engineer, Lawrence Warr created Henners' seven acre vineyard. He named his estate in honour of his French ancestor, Henners Dubois, who was forced to flee Paris for England during the French Revolution in the late 18th Century.
Based just four miles from the sea in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, the vines thrive in an idyllic microclimate created by the vineyard's proximity to the sea, low altitude (only 24 metres above sea level) and steep, sunny, south facing slopes. Planted with only the traditional Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, Henners' sole focus has always been on high quality English Sparkling Wine.
Leading UK wine agency Boutinot was the sole distributor of Henners from the vineyard's inception and developed strong ties with the winery and its wines, so when the opportunity arose in 2017 to buy the estate, they jumped at the chance.
The winery, which has been extended twice since it was built in 2009, can produce around 60,000 bottles of sparkling wine a year, and currently produces 20,000 - 23,000 bottles per year from the vineyard along with an additional 25,000 - 30,000 bottles as part of a long-term contract agreement with a Kent winemaker.
All Henners wines are hand-crafted from start to finish, with non-interventionist approach in the winery made possible by the quality of their fruit. Only the finest juice, or CuvÃ©e, released from the grapes at the lightest of pressures is allowed in to their wines. Not only are the different varieties fermented separately - but individual clones as well. All wines undergo extended lees ageing for added complexity, and all bottles are held back for at least three years prior to release to add depth and richness. Reserve wines, which are blended in to each non-vintage cuvÃ©e, are selected for their quality and ageing potential, and then matured in bottle for even more complexity, richness and consistency of character.