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The Castle Hotel dinner with the Winemaker

Where is the Stanlake Park Wine Estate?

The 130-acre Stanlake Park Wine Estate is located in nearby Twyford and has been around since 1166.  The first vines were planted here in 1979 and the grapes used to make 14 different wines.   Some 40 years later and the wines and estate have been rejuvenated due to the arrival of a new winemaker and his wife who have injected professionalism, creativity and passion into everything they do.

Who are Nico and Natalia?

Nico Centonze was born into a wine making family in Puglia, southern Italy and attended the Viticulture and Oenology University in Tuscany and in Piedmont.  He has since worked in Nyetimber (Sussex), Argentina, Bordeaux, Romania and, of course, Italy prior to his arrival at Stanlake Park.   Apart from his passion for winemaking, Nico is typically Italian and his life revolves around food.  As soon as you meet him, he is most likely to ask what you ate for your last meal!

While studying in Piedmont, Nico met his soulmate Natalia Pezzone.  Although Natalia was working at a Veterinary School in Turin she also had a passion for wine and travel.  As soon as they arrived at Stanlake Park, Nico introduced a number of award-winning new wines and together with Natalia’s dynamic approach to brand awareness and marketing, saw sales triple. During this time, Natalia also passed her WSET Diploma (getting the highest mark in the whole of the UK) to add to her impressive list of qualifications. 

Learn all about English wines

Whilst climate change does help with wine making in the UK it still creates many challenges with late frosts, heavy rains and last year, drought!  There are now 900 vineyards in the UK and the industry continues to grow.  The climate is perfect for sparkling wine, even better than in the Champagne region with its rising temperatures.   To supplement the production of Stanlake Park wine (30K bottles pa), Nico has imported 3 wines from his family vineyard in Puglia under the label of Stanlake Park’s Italian Collection.  Although the wines only arrived in February 2023 they are getting very favourable reviews and provide a great comparison to our own cold climate wines.

Try for yourself

Pairing wine with food is one of life’s perfect moments, whether you’re complimenting the food or contrasting the flavours. 

Try some of Stanlake Park’s delicious produce on your next visit, paired with a delicious meal by chef Suraj and his team in Leaf restaurant. Click here to book your visit now.

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