The Property Chronicle speaks to Jim Nolan, CEO and founder of Black Dog Hill
Operating since 2007, Black Dog Hill is a family-run vineyard in Ditchling, Sussex. The Nolan family didn’t have to travel far to find one of the world’s finest vineyard sites, since they were already living on it. The serendipity of geology, geography and benign maritime climate encouraged the Nolan family to plant the vineyard in 2007, which has since grown to produce award-winning, sparkling wine that has found national and international success. The Property Chroniclesat down with Jim Nolan, CEO and founder of Black Dog Hill, to discuss the process of producing sparkling wine on a vineyard located 830ft high in the South Downs National Park.
What is the core principle of your business?
Family. My parent’s ashes are in the vineyard and my four children work there. My wife is the managing director and my parents-in-law are hugely involved. Since we were brought up here, the Sussex soil is in our blood. We believe Sussex produce to be the equal or better than any in the world; cheese, meat, beer – but especially wine.
What encouraged you to plant the vineyard 12 years ago, and how have you managed to maintain its success?
Fun is at the heart of our business. Above all, we love what we do. It’s quite simply the most stunning vineyard and working there to produce our incredible, award-winning wines is a pleasure. Some cold, wet mornings perhaps less so, but it’s always a privilege to be a part of it.