The lucky number eight permeates the fabric of Danbury Ridge: from the 888-bottle initial run of the Octagon Block Pinot Noir, to the Sleipnir Vineyard, named after Odin's eight-legged steed, to the broken figure of eight which is the winery's proud logo.
Founder Michael Bunker spent much of his working life in China, and so he knew to count his blessings when their land in the Crouch Ridge showed such potential for high-quality viticulture. The stars must have aligned over the site, where gravel-based soils overlay London clay and natural forested windbreaks shelter the vines from poor weather. This combination of conditions, as well as Essex's proclivity for warmer temperatures when compared to the rest of the country, means Danbury Ridge can produce structured, powerful wines with levels of ripeness previously unseen in the UK.
Now, however, Michael and Heather Bunker, along with their daughters, are leaving nothing up to chance. With the expert support of viticulturalist Duncan Macneill, winemaker Liam Idzikowski and John Atkinson MW, they have the skill to grow ripe, rich fruit and produce from it polished, elegant and expectation-smashing wines in their state-of-the-art winery.
So there's expertise, equipment, a soupcon of luck, and the final ingredient to Danbury Ridge's success? Patience. Initial quantities of their wines are limited, as they patiently wait for established vines to yield optimal fruit, so we are delighted to be stocking the Danbury Ridge Chardonnay and the Octagon Block Pinot Noir. Greatness cannot be rushed, after all! In future vintages, we'll see single-vineyard wines from the Octagon Block, Sleipnir and Polo vineyards.