Country houses for sale

A West Sussex farmhouse with its own vineyard where you could make 40,000 bottles a year

The ideal country house with the ideal lifestyle business? Dillions Farmhouse and Vineyard in West Sussex are up for sale.

The country house property checklist usually starts off with things like ‘pretty’, ‘period charm’, ‘nice garden’ and ‘convenient location’.

But once you’ve got those staples ticked off, you can start to look for the rather more niche attributes. ‘Granny annexe’ is a popular one for those embarking upon the adventure that is multi-generational living; while ‘own vineyard’, while more of a pipe dream, is also a cracker.

How nice, then, to find Dillions Farmhouse, a home which ticks all those boxes and more.

This picturesque property north-east of the village of Staplefield — near Handcross, Cuckfield and Haywards Heath, with its superb rail links to and through London — is a place where you can both make your own wine, and rope in your parents/in-laws to help out on a regular basis by suggesting they might like to move in to the two-bedroom Old Stables Cottage.

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Grade II-listed, Dillions Farmhouse and cottage annexe come with gardens extending to 3½ acres, plus the 16¼-acre Dillions Vineyard. They’d happily go together at £3.75 million, but are also listed separately by agents Strutt & Parker: Lot 1, the farmhouse, gardens and cottage, have an asking price of £3.1 million; lot 2, Dillions Vineyard, is up for sale at £650,000.

Originally Tudor, but much extended and refurbished, the main farmhouse has six bedrooms, including a master suite with bathroom, dressing area and walk-in wardrobe.

The aforementioned lovely gardens have been cleverly landscaped to incorporate a cottage-style planting area around an old well, Cotswold-stone gravel paths edged with verbena, roses and Mexican daisies, hedged parterres, a sunken spa pool, an old horse pond fringed with lavender, formal vegetable garden, treehouse and wildflower-rich grassland.

Enough of such trifles, though: the big question is, what type of wine will you be making? And how much will you be able to churn out? Well, the vineyard contains Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Bacchus and Cabaret Noir varieties.

All being well you can apparently expect to grow roughly three tonnes of grapes per acre, which translates into 2,500 bottles; so at Dillions Vineyard, you could be looking at over 40,000 bottles a year.

Dillions Farmouse and Vineyard are for sale via Strutt & Parker at £3.75m  — see more details and pictures.

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