From crisp whites to velvety reds, vineyards up and down England are producing award-winning wines; we’re celebrating some of the magnificent wines produced here in our very own country.
We’ve compiled some of the best vineyards to visit across the country, vineyards that offer great wine, tasting sessions, tours and also have a little something extra to add to your experience.
Set in the gentle hills and high hedges of Kent’s High Weald, in an Area of Outstanding Beauty, is the Chapel Down Vineyard. The 22 acres of vineyard, has the same chalky soil as Champagné, France (just 90 miles to the south) giving the wine produced here its distinct flavour.
To get a real taste of the wines produced at Chapel Down, take a behind the scenes tour. A guide will show you how they grow the grapes to how they transform the fruit in to delicious wine. There’s also a tutored tasting session afterwards so you can really appreciate the wines.
Train: 1hr from London Charing Cross to Headcorn
Car: Approximately 1hr 30m from Central London
Isles of Scilly
While only 28 miles west of the mainland, the Isles of Scilly feels like a different world. With no traffic jams or major shopping centres, the only noise pollution you’ll hear is the breaking waves and cawing gulls. Set on the southerly facing slopes of the St Martin, you will find the St Martin Vineyard, the UK’s smallest and most southwesterly vineyard. Guided vineyard tours are conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer, giving you the chance to explore this unique vineyard.
Without a doubt, the location of this winery is what makes it so special. The clear waters and idylic beaches surrounding the islands provide a prevailing sense of calm making St Martins a delight. The spectacular flowers, plant life, rare birds and sea views along the heathery cliff paths all add to the thrill of St Martin.
Sea: 2hr 45m by sea to St Mary’s from Penzance, transfer for short trip to St Martins
Air: 1 hour from Exeter airport to St Mary’s Airport, transfer for short trip by sea to St Martins
Sharpham Vineyard has been making fine English wine for around 30 years. Located on the bank of the river Dart in Devon. Sharpham produces red and white wines, which have won awards at both a national and international level. Enjoy a guided tour of the vineyard to gain an insight in to how Sharpham Wine is produced.
As well as producing English wines, Sharpham Vineyard also make soft English cheeses using the milk from its herd of Jersey cows. Cremet, Rustic and Savour are some of creamy delights produced in Sharpham Dairy.
Train: 1hr 45m from Bristol Parkway to Totnes
Car: Approximately 2hr from Bristol
Nestled deep between the Costwolds and the Forest of Dean is Three Choirs, one of England’s oldest and largest vineyards. The rolling hills and valleys of Gloucestershire provide a unique climate, which is perfect for growing grapes. Explore the beautiful vineyards on a guided tour and afterwards, enjoy a light lunch with a chefs selection board.
The Three Choirs vineyard is perfectly situated to explore the beautiful Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean. If you’re thinking of planning a short break or a romantic retreat, the vineyard has rooms and lodges overlooking the vine clad valleys. Don’t worry about going hungry either, the vineyard also has a brasserie serving the best local produce.
Train: 2hr 50m from London Paddington to Gloucester
Car: Approximately 2hr 10 m from Central London
Ryedale Vineyard, York
Rydedale Vineyard is the UK’s most northerly commercial vineyard, hidden away in an idyllic spot at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds. The sunny south facing slopes are key to producing some of England’s award winning wines. Throughout summer Ryedale offers guided tours and tasting sessions which include a selection of wines accompanied by homemade nibbles.
Ryedale vineyard is located only six miles from the market town of Malton, known as the food capital of Yorkshire. Malton regularly has food markets and festivals featuring the finest produce from the region. Perfect for enjoying a short break or romantic trip – taste the wine, enjoy the food and at the end of the day, settle down for a peaceful night’s sleep at Ryedale farmhouse.
Train: 1hr 30m from Manchester Victoria to Malton
Car: Approximately 1hr 30m from Manchester
Isle of Wight
It’s thought that the Romans grew vines on the Isle of Wight some 2,000 years ago. Adgestone seems to have perfected the technique now, producing red, white and rosé wines. The chalky south facing slopes and almost frost-free climate give these wines a unique taste. Their vineyard tour offers the whole grape to glass experience, as you'll be guided around the 10 acre site and shown the whole process of turning grapes into wine.
If you’re looking to get away from the bustle of everyday life and take some time to relax, Adgestone is the ideal place to escape. Adgestone has snug double bedrooms with en-suite facilities and magnificent sea views offering a tranquil setting to relax and unwind. What could be more special than spending your evenings under stars amongst 10 acres of vines?
Train: 3hr from London Victoria to Brading – ferry crossing required
Car: Approximately 3hr 30m from Central London
Chichester, West Sussex
The Tinwood Vineyard started planting vines in 2007 on the edge of the beautiful South Downs National Park. Since then they have been producing fine English sparkling wines since their first crop in 2009. Tinwood run fun wine tasting sessions that everyone is able to enjoy, enjoy the sun and a glass of bubbles after spending the day touring the beautiful vineyards.
Tinwood isn’t only a vineyard, it also offers accommodation to its guests. Lodges at the estate offer the guests the chance to stay in cabin lodges with an authentic rustic feel. The floor to ceiling glass windows and private veranda overlooking the vines are the real showpiece.
Train: 1hr 30m from London Victoria to Chichester
Car: 2hr from Central London
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