Winemaker profile: Dermot Sugrue

Acclaimed winemaker Dermot Sugrue is passionate about making great English sparkling wines.

Dermot’s passion for winemaking started as a teenager in Ireland, where he experimented with making beer and wine and was inspired to pursue oenology. Dermot’s enthusiasm for winemaking was further fuelled when he was given a copy of Hugh Johnson’s book; Vintage: The Story of Wine. He was so inspired reading it he can still recall whole paragraphs verbatim.

Having previously studied Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia Dermot decided to return to studying and completed a Viticulture and Oenology degree at Plumpton College. He then took this winemaking knowledge forward and gained crucial experience completing vintages in the UK and in Bordeaux at Châteaux including the prestigious Château Leoville-Barton, St Julien.

However, it was his next move that set Dermot on the path to his current success. He joined Nyetimber in 2003, became winemaker a year later and was instrumental in its rise to prominence, competing with the world’s best sparkling wines. A vintage at a Champagne house cemented his skill with fizz and was the final step before Dermot set up Wiston Estate with the Goring family.

Here, Dermot produces his own exciting wine, Sugrue, as well as many other excellent wines produced at Wiston. Dermot focuses on small plots of vines and employs huge attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery to create wines with character and precision. Storrington Priory was planted by Dermot in 2006. The vineyard benefits from the complexity of two soil types and an atypical orientation of the vines.

 

Dermot went on to purchase Mount Harry, a renowned vineyard site, and the two sites provide outstanding grapes for Dermot’s wine, ‘The Trouble with Dreams’, a complex, elegant and award-winning wines which is a culmination of Dermot’s vast winemaking experience and exceptional skill.

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