about the winemaker

Dermot Sugrue was born in Ireland in 1974, where he grew up and lived until moving to the UK in 1992. He attained an Honours Degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England in 1996. After working for several years as an Independent Financial Advisor, he studied Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton Agricultural College, part of the University of Brighton.

Following vintages in the UK he completed two seasons working in Bordeaux, at Chateau l'Eglise-Clinet, Pomerol and Chateau Leoville-Barton, St Julien, before returning to the UK in 2002 to help establish a contract winery in Suffolk. In 2003 he joined Nyetimber Vineyard, England's premier wine estate, and was appointed Winemaker in 2004. Over the following 3 years he oversaw Nyetimber's emergence as one of the world's greatest sparkling wine producers.

Following Nyetimber's change of ownership and direction in 2006, he decided to leave in order to fulfil his ambition of establishing a new winery in West Sussex, in collaboration with the Wiston Estate's Harry & Pip Goring.

After working the 2006 vintage in Champagne for Moet & Chandon, he assumed management of the Goring's Findon Park Vineyard later that year, and became consultant to several new sparkling wine enterprises throughout the south of England. He began working as Consultant Winemaker to wineries in India in 2006, which he continues to visit several times a year.

The Wiston Estate Winery was established in 2008, a specialist sparkling winemaking facility which makes wines under contract for several English vineyards. With 800 hl of stainless steel tanks and 90 hl of barrels it is anticipated that around 100 tonnes of fruit will be processed there for sparkling wine in 2009.

Dermot Sugrue lives with his dog Noodles near Chanctonbury Ring in the South Downs.