Tillingham is a winery producing natural and biodynamic wine rooted in the East Sussex countryside, perched on a hill overlooking the English Channel. The 70-acre farm is home to vineyards, a winery and a restaurant, as well as eleven en-suite bedrooms in what was once a barn. The company is run according to organic and biodynamic principles and, in addition to the wines, even the products of the restaurant menu are often grown on the farm. Behind Tillingham is Ben Walgate, who grew up on a farm in rural Lincolnshire. "This was hugely significant to my upbringing," he says, "just having this connection to the land. I never thought about it until recently, when I had my own farm, how comfortable I am with all of this" . During school he works in restaurants and wine bars, and when he moves to London for college he works at the Majestic. 'I got to the end of college and I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, but the only thing that didn't go away was making wine.' So he buys a one-way ticket to Europe and a family friend in the hotel business puts him in contact with many vineyard owners. This included Albert Bichot in Burgundy. "It opened my eyes," he recalls. "They were industrial: more than three million bottles of wine." But he found it instructive to spend a few days with their winemaker tasting all the different wines. Back in England, he moves to the East Sussex countryside, where he plants 10,000 vines in 2018 and another 30,000 plants in 2019. There are 21 different varieties, but with clonal variations there are actually 32. Among the Germanic varieties, Orgtega, Muller has Thurgau, Schönberger, Regent, Faberrebe and a few others. Then there are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. And then Pinot Grigio, Pinot d'Aunis and even Gamay. There is some Chenin Blanc in an experimental block called Copp's Bank, which is quite sheltered. Ben Walgate loves experimental, still wines, aged in amphora, classic and refermented methods.