Malcolm Isaac, owner of Exton Park vineyard
Local businessman and countryman Malcolm Isaac bought Exton Park in 2009, having just sold Vitacress – a company he had created initially to supply watercress to supermarkets, and which he then developed into Europe’s leading producer of fresh bagged salads and cress to multiple retailers.
A man with drive and vision, he knew that the local chalk uplands of the Meon Valley were very special indeed. Exton Park could realise his ambition to produce some of the very best sparkling wine in England. And thus he invested – not only in the land, but also in the winery, cellar rooms and the team.
‘We can only make good wine from good grapes’, he explains. ‘so we will invest whatever is necessary to achieve this. We intend to have all the facilities we need on this wonderful site to make, market and promote our wines. Plans are already in hand for the next stage ..…’
Fred Langdale, Vineyard Manager
Fred first worked with vines in 2001 at Peregrine Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand, and on returning to the UK, studied viticulture at Plumpton College, while at the same time working for Davenport vineyards, learning to understand organic viticulture.
In the summer of 2005 he had the opportunity to work for a year in South Africa at Le Avenir, a 55 hectare vineyard in Stellenbosch. On his return, he decided to concentrate on cool climate sparkling wine-growing, and supervised one of Nyetimber’s 32 hectare plots. In 2008 he moved to Exton Park and has been managing the vineyard ever since, supervising the last two plantings, and assessing the success of different rootstocks on various terroirs and varieties. He has been instrumental in developing the 55acre Exton Park vineyard as it is today.
“The vineyard speaks for itself – it’s a viticulturist’s dream’ he says. I find it fascinating, and rewarding, to have such a range of different sites and terroirs all in one vineyard, and all with a unique character. With Malcolm’s support and investment, we are able to experiment and develop the very best from each parcel of vines. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever worked in”.
Corinne Seely, Head Wine Maker
Corinne’s winemaking career began in Bordeaux with Chatea Lynch Bages and Domaine de Chevalier and, since then, has flourished in Australia, the Languedoc, the Douro, and now England. At Exton Park, her skill in producing elegant sparkling wines with character and finesse is very evident, and her philosophy of creating non-vintage wines to suit the English climate is widely respected.
“I have a real passion for terroir, and how to express its true potential. At Exton Park we have something extremely special” she says.
Oliver Whitfield, Wine Maker
Olly’s first job on a vineyard was in 2008 in New Zealand (Barkers Marque), after which he decided to follow a career in viticulture and oenology. On his return, he studied at Plumpton College for the FdSc in Wine Production, and also spent time working at Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire.
Next, he joined the vineyard management consultancy Vine Works where he gained experience on a wide range of terroirs, pruning systems, and different management ideas.
“The importance of making good wine is being part of the growing process, as much as the actual wine making. I love the fact that a small change in a job in the vineyard can affect the flavour of the end product. I am proud to be a wine maker at Exton Park.”
Kit Ellen, Sales & Marketing Manager
After graduating with a 1st Class degree in Anthropology, Kit spent three years with Majestic Wines, working in Oxford and the Home Counties. While there he achieved a distinction in the WSET Level 3 Award, and won the Gonzalez Byass Scholarship; leading on to the Level 4 Diploma.
In 2014 he moved to the wine agent and distributor Free Run Wines, as the Sales & Marketing Manager looking after a number of key multiple retailer accounts, as well as wholesalers and independent wine merchants. This specialism in supplying Champagne, Prosecco and Cava to the UK market revealed an obvious career path for Kit into the exciting world of English Sparkling Wine.
Kit joined Exton Park Vineyard in October 2016 as the Sales & Marketing Manager.
“Exton Park Vineyard is a truly special place – we have a clear terroir here and an extremely talented vineyard and winemaking team who have a thorough understanding of the land. Combined with the growing excitement, knowledge and demand for English Sparkling Wine in the UK and abroad, this is an incredible time to be a part of Exton Park.”
Lewis Whitfield, Assistant Winemaker
My journey in the wine world started in 2014 when I flew over to New Zealand with my older brother, Oliver, to work a vintage with one of the leading kiwi producers, Marisco. After a few months there, I returned to the UK and joined my brother here at Exton Park Vineyard. A job which started out as a three month harvest position has now led me to become the Assistant-Winemaker at Exton Park, and I am pleased to be helping out more with the events and sales.
Now, three years on, and firmly set in my career here at Exton Park Vineyard, I know I chose the right path and I’m continually looking for ways to develop my knowledge as a winemaker and to contribute towards our exciting project.