Some of The Best English Vineyards to Visit
England might not be the first country that comes to mind when we think of wines, however, it is a country that produces some good quality wine and it is the 6th largest consumer of wines in the world. While the English have mostly been consumers, they have also stepped up their production in recent decades. As of 2012, there are around 1,437 hectares of vineyards in the country, with about 128 wineries. The best vineyards can be found along the southern strip of England’s coast, including three central regions of Sussex, Kent and Surrey.
- Sussex: The grape variety used here consists of the Bacchus, classic Champagne grapes, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, all of which are well-suited to the cool climate of England. The wines produced in this region possess a strong mineral character and are often described as chalky and flint.
- Kent: The majority of the vineyard plantings in this region consist of Chardonnay, Bacchus, Pinot Noir and Ortega. The wines produced by these grapes also have pronounced mineral notes, with aromas of pears, apples and elderflower.
- Surrey: The region of surrey also has chalky soil. Many sparkling houses have invested in this region.
Some of The best English Wineries
1. Balfour Winery in Staplehurst, Kent
The Balfour Winery is located on the Hush Health Estate, a few miles from Tunbridge Wells. The winery is owned by Richard Balfour-Lynn, who has added a visitor centre in the property, which offers guided winery tours with the winemaking process, vineyard walks, and wine tasting sessions. Visitors can also book the Balfour Wine and Dine Experience, which costs £175 per person and offers a three-course lunch with carefully paired wines.
2. Gusbourne Winery, Kent
This winery stretches across a 150-acre estate and is located an hour away from London. The wines produced here are made from Chardonnay grapes. The fine wines are made from handpicked grapes, which are then pressed in whole bunches. After that, the juice is left to naturally settle for up to 36 hours, after which the fermentation process begins. The resulting wines have notes of green apple and lemon, with hints of hazelnut and toasted brioche. The estate also has a tasting menu that features cheese, charcuterie and snacks, which can be paired with the wines.
3. Terlingham Vineyard, Kent
This is a family-run winery located in the Kentish countryside. It has been producing natural wines since 2015, which are similar to those produced in the Champagne region of France. You can visit the winery, which is located on four acres of land. The visit also includes a wine tasting session along with a cheeseboard.
4. Tillingham Winery, Peasmarsh, East Sussex
This winery consists of vineyards that have been planted biodynamically. It is located in a mixed farm estate, which offers exquisite views of Rye’s fortified, ancient hilltop town. The winery has 24 different blends, which have been made with 20 varieties of grape. Visitors to this winery can enjoy the interesting natural wines with a wood-fired pizza in the Dutch barn. There is also an option of pairing the wines with meals cooked by ex-St John chef Tom Ryalls in a restaurant proper. The property also has a hotel that offers 11 chic guestrooms.
5. Trevibban Mill, Padstow, Cornwall
This is a family-run vineyard located just three miles from Padstow. Visitors to this vineyard can go on a grand walking tour, which is offered at the cost of £50 per person, with wine tasting at £15 per person. The time includes a visit to the winery, where one can try wines like the perky Pét-Nat or the fruity red. The wine tasting is also accompanied by lunch, which features cheeseboards with salamis, Cornish cheese and hummus.