Written by Amy Beecham
Think you have to travel abroad to the wineries of New Zealand or California for a crisp late-summer sundowner? Think again. These are some of the best vineyards the UK has to offer.
There’s nothing we love more than making the most of those last straggling pockets of sunshine once September rolls around. And what better way to do it than raising up a crisp glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir among the very vines it was grown from?
Okay, the UK may not be known for its wine production as Sauvignon Blanc capital Marlborough or the Napa Valley of California. But there are plenty of picturesque wineries nestled across the country just waiting to be explored.
In 2020, there were over 700 individual vineyards across Britain and a record 3.2 million vines were planted in England and Wales in 2019.
From Cornwall to Chichester, Yorkshire to Herefordshire, here is our pick of the best vineyards to visit in the UK.
The best vineyards to visit in the UK
Langham Wine Estate, Dorset
Dorset’s Langham Wine Estate has a south-facing aspect, chalk soils and a unique microclimate which, combined, produce the perfect terroir for ripening the classic Champagne varieties – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Their Langham Culver also just beat 101 British varieties to be awarded South West wine of the year.
Ryedale Vineyards, Yorkshire
The vineyard in Ryedale, North Yorkshire was planted in 2006 and is the most northerly commercial vineyard in Britain.They not only produce delicious wines that have won awards annually, but also dabble in sparkling wines and cider.
Chapel Down, Kent
Chapel Down is the UK wine industry’s leader, and is located in the beautiful Kent countryside, close to the picturesque market town of Tenterden. Perfect for a day trip from London.
Oxney Organic Estate, East Sussex
Oxney’s wines are made in a converted Grade II listed square oast house and their 35 acres of vines produce around 20% of all organic grapes grown in the UK.
Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire
Three Choirs is one of England’s oldest vineyards, with the first vines being planted in 1973. They now boast over 75 acres and a selection of delicious British wines.
Tinwood Estate Vineyard, Chichester
Found at the foot of the South Downs National Park, Tinwood has quickly established a reputation for producing the very finest English sparkling wines.
Be sure to check out their tasting room, a glass-covered veranda and outdoor patio with a view overlooking the vines.
Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, Shropshire
This charming vineyard is situated alongside the ancient Roman City of Uriconium (Wroxeter) and was planted back in 1995.
Camel Valley, Cornwall
Camel Valley has been producing award-winning wines in a beautiful corner of Cornwall since 1989. The winery has won both national and international awards, and is considered a gem of the Cornish countryside.
Castle Brook, Herefordshire
Tucked away in the meandering Wye Valley of South Herefordshire,the Castlebrook vines were planted in 2004, on the site of an ancient Roman vineyard. They now grow 21 different clones of the three traditional Champagne grape varieties.
The setting itself is filled with history. The Castle Brook name is derived from the farmhouse that sits at the bottom of the vineyard. This ancient building, mentioned in the 1086 Domesday book as a coaching inn, is named after both the ruins of Penyard Castle which overlooks the valley, and the Coughton Brook which runs through it.
Images: courtesy of vineyards
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