The best vineyards in England to visit
Raise a glass to nine delicious days out at wineries around the country
English wine is truly sparkling – the industry is going from strength to strength, producing world-class tipples. It also means there’s a variety of stunning wineries to visit for a day out, or mini-break. My local wineries are Balfour and Chapel Down in Kent and we’ve enjoyed some wonderful walks through the vines and wild-flower meadows. Here’s some of the best vineyards around England.
1. Balfour Winery, Kent
First on my list is my local vineyard – Balfour Winery, Hush Heath Estate, near Staplehurst in Kent. This beautiful winery has tasting sessions and food and you can walk through the 400 acres of vineyards, meadows, orchards and woodland. There are year-round tours and tasting sessions and the wine is fantastic. They also run several pubs and hotels, which you can book into.
2. Chapel Down, Kent
Also in Kent, is Chapel Down, just outside the lovely market town of Tenterden. This famous vineyard is set in 22 acres and has the same soil as Champagne. You can take a guided tour and tasting session, or follow the vineyard trail. There are many lovely places to stay nearby.
3. Knightor Winery, Cornwall
Above St Austell Bay, on the south coast of Cornwall, is Knightor Winery, proudly producing fine Cornish wine. They have just launched a special A Cornish Vineyard Retreat package, with converted convent The Alverton Hotel in Truro, where guests get exclusive access behind the scenes of the winery, with a curated tasting menu and wine flight. This two-night stay for wine fans looks a real treat.
4. St Martin’s Vineyard, Isles of Scilly
Off the coast of Cornwall, in the Isles of Scilly, you’ll find the UK’s smallest vineyard, St Martin’s Vineyard. In an utterly idyllic and peaceful location, this vineyard is unforgettable. You can take a trail, tour and wine-tasting and stay in a shepherd’s hut near the beach. I’m booking now…
5. Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire
From the smallest, to one of the largest - situated between the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean is Three Choirs, one of England’s oldest vineyards. The beautiful rolling hills of Gloucestershire provide a fabulous setting and as well as tours and tasting sessions you can also stay on-site.
6. Adgestone Vineyard, Isle of Wight
The Romans grew grapes on the Isle of Wight and Adgestone now turns out red, white and rosé wines. You can take a tour, enjoy wine-tasting and food platters and stay on-site.
7. Tinwood Estate Vineyard, West Sussex
On the edge of the South Downs National Park, is beautiful Tinwood Vineyard, which produces top-quality sparkling wines. You can take wine-tasting sessions, tours and stay in their luxury cabins.
8. Denbies, Surrey
England’s largest vineyard, covering 627 acres, is Denbies, in the Surrey Hills. You can take tours, eat at its restauarants and even take a vineyard train tour. Or extend your stay at the Denbies Vineyard Hotel, in a 19th century farmhouse.
9. Hambledon, Hampshire
Hambledon is one of England’s oldest established commercial vineyards, producing award-winning fizz. Covering 200 acres in Hampshire, you can take a tour through the vines and underground cellars cut out of the chalk landscape and enjoy tasting sessions. Their website includes a list of accommodation nearby.
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