From Humble Beginnings
Stocklands vineyard is home to nearly 4,000 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. They were planted in 2008 on a warm, sheltered, south facing slope in clay soil over limestone strata – the perfect recipe for growing delicious grapes! In 2013, lifetime farmers; Mark and Jenny Thorp were offered the opportunity to run this lovely vineyard and jumped at the chance, marketing their wine under the brand Greenhill Estate. Each year, Greenhill Estate wine received awards for white and red in the South West Vineyards Association’s annual competition, winning the trophy for best red wine in show with their 2014 Pinot Noir. In 2018, Mark and Jenny were thinking about retiring when a chance conversation with Mark led him to suggest I might like to add to my repertoire as a Peony grower to also run Stocklands vineyard. With no hesitation (and no experience of working in a vineyard!)
but brimming with enthusiasm, Mark helped me quickly gain confidence, initially at pruning, the first task of the year early in 2019. All through that year, my learning curve was very steep, but with Mark as my mentor and tractor driver, every task was explained in detail resulting in a very successful harvest and a very happy time spent with friends, old and new bringing the harvest in. Continuing the success of Mark and Jenny’s Greenhill Wine is paramount to compliment this beautiful vineyard and its Patrons. Steve Brooksbank, a well-known and experienced wine maker based at Shepton Mallet, with many award-winning wines to his name, continues to produce all Stocklands wines to date. The perfect model has been set up and will continue that way to bring you the same quality wine from the same quality vineyard in a bottle whose label pays tribute to its provenance:
We Bring You Polden Wines
Meet our lovely team of staff and volunteers who help to bring our wine to your doorstep!
Vineyard Management and Wine Sales: Sue Applegate
Vineyard Assistant – hands on: Pat Nicks
Vineyard Consultant: Mark Thorp
Harvest team: The pickers, crate collectors, loaders and the drivers
Grass keeping: Julie and her mower and Steve’s sheep
Wine making: Steve Brookesbank
Website: Bennie Williams
Label Design: Emma Thorp
"Hi I'm Patch Wills. I volunteer at the Polden Hills Vineyard for a few hours each week. For the last year I have been working for Majestic Wine Warehouse in Taunton. Through Majestic I am training to gain my WSET level 3. This is an internationally recognised Wine & Spirits Qualification.
I have had an interest in wine for 6 years now, which started whilst working in the hospitality industry. This has now developed into a full time passion! I have been lucky enough to work for the Allan Scott Estate (Marlborough, New Zealand) and Chandon Australia (Yarra Valley, Melbourne) where I worked as a Cellar Hand. I have recently gained a place for the upcoming Vintage for the Bolney Estate (West Sussex, England).
My Dream is to become a winemaker and have my own recognised online wine Publication called the Wine Seeker. The website is currently being built and should be fully functioning by the end of the year!"
Volunteers – an opportunity awaits you! Fancy bud rubbing, tucking in, raising the wires, leaf stripping or harvesting grapes? Please be in touch for a fun day out if you’d like to have a go and we’ll explain why the vines need this work doing and show you how.