Castleton was planted in 1885 between 2500 to 5000 feet above sea level. It is managed by Vikas Gaimer and Assistant Manager Vikek Pande. About 70% of the estate grows the original heritage Camellia sinensis ‘Sinensis’ bushes, the rest is planted with the AV2 and Seeyok 1240 clones along with some Assam hybrids. These clones are planted higher up in the estate, the plants grow slower at these colder heights developing highly concentrated flavours. The Chinese plants grow between 3000 and 4500 feet. These Sinensis plants tend to be quite temperamental in their growth and production, they need special care and for a long time before the discovery of indigenous ‘Assam’ bushes the Indian tea growing industry struggled. The leaves are traditionally plucked, two leaves and a bud. Like wine some years produce stunning crops other years only so-so, this is a great year. One of the nicest Darjeeling’s I’ve tried.