Our Story

Our founder D’arcy Gander is passionate about English wines. He planted and managed vineyards all over the UK for more than a decade. But being a bright chap with ideas of his own, he wanted somewhere to put all his knowledge into practice for himself.

After a long search for the perfect spot, D’arcy visited a 1.55 hectare meadow bordered by ancient woodland in the lee of the South Downs. Washed by sea breezes and gentle mists, gently sloped and south facing, it was exactly right. Only one question remained. What would this new vineyard be called?

Bee Tree is Born

For a while we just called our lovely site ‘round the corner’. In fact, that nearly became its official name. Despite many brainstorming sessions, we couldn’t think of anything else. Fate, however, had other ideas.

A passing neighbour stopped to chat. She told us that the site had belonged to her father. After one of the surrounding oaks was colonised by bees, her family named it ‘Bee Tree Field’. And that’s how Bee Tree Wine was born.

Our vineyard was planted in 2015 with a number of varieties. From the classic Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, to the hybrids Sauvignac, Cabernet Blanc and Cabernet Noir. We produce our wines according to the harvest, always hoping for a glorious English summer to produce our still wines.

Looking after our land

We know that owning land – especially land like this – is a real and rare privilege. It’s also a responsibility, and one we take seriously.

We’re committed to using sustainable, environmentally-conscious growing and management methods. Our seasonal grasscutters, for example, have four legs and roam around the site, baa-ing contentedly. We’ve sown native wildflowers around our borders to encourage biodiversity, enrich the soil and support our very own colonies of bees, snugly hived on site.

The local wildlife has a greater claim to this land than we do. So we do everything we can to support it. We’ve put bird boxes up all around the site (bees and bats are welcome to make use of them too). We monitor our badgers, foxes, deer and feathered friends and make sure they’re not disturbed.

We are members of WineGB and founder members of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain.

Meet the team

Darcy Gander

Our founder and head honcho, Darcy’s passion for English wines started with a visit to pioneering vineyard Breaky Bottom in his native Lewes. He became a stockist and ambassador as the owner of a south east pub group, then studied viticulture at Plumpton College and established his own vineyard planting and management company.

Today he puts all that knowledge, experience and enthusiasm into Bee Tree. He’s no longer just an ambassador. He’s an active contributor to growth, expansion and ongoing improvement in the production of really great English wines.

Tanya Gander

A woman of many talents, Tanya holds several key positions in Bee Tree, from transport management to marketing guru and occasional shepherdess. She wields a mean secateur when it’s time for pruning and has more than proved her mettle as harvest labour.

When she’s not actively in the field she’s always looking for new ways to develop the business through partnerships with others who share the family enthusiasm for preserving and enjoying as well as working this precious piece of land.

Lydon Gander

Being the youngest team member, Lydon’s the social media go-to when our poor old brains can’t cope with stuff like TikTok.

Although they have their own music studies (and a promising career) ahead, they’ve been known to pull on a pair of wellies and put in some hard labour when extra hands are needed. If they want to do that with their headphones drowning out the parental chit-chat, we’re okay with that.

Beryl and Minnie Gander

These VIPs (Very Important Pups) play vital roles in protecting us from invading armies of pheasants, although strangely they’re fine with the sheep. Perhaps the fact that the sheep are considerably larger than they are has something to do with that.

Also very enthusiastic diggers, although not always in the right place, and they’re definitely showing promise as official visitor greeters. Plus we pay them in biscuits.

Place an order today

There’s a flat fee of £10 for shipping up to 12 bottles. We use flexi-hex packaging, which is plastic free and easily recyclable, and we only ship twice a week to keep emissions to a minimum.

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