England’s vineyards are reopening for tours and tastings, here’s where to visit in the South East
During a tour of this family run vineyard in Bentley you’ll get to hear tales from the history of the estate, including some ghost stories. A tour and tasting package costs £20pp and includes a walk through lush vines and a guided tasting afterwards.
Sitting on the banks of the River Test, near Andover, this wine estate makes for a stunning setting to try wine. Tours, which start from £20, will commence from May 17. If you’re lucky enough to have been able to book in for a stay at one of the adjacent Wild Escapes Treehouses, you can book them to come up and do a private tasting for you.
At England’s oldest vineyard you can view their state-of-the-art winery and underground cellars cut directly into the perfect white chalk. Tours cost £17, and you can also gave afternoon tea for £35pp.
Spread across 60 acres near Alresford, Hattingley Valley has a bursting trophy cabinet thanks to its expert wine-making skills – head winemaker Emma Rice has won UK Winemaker of the year twice. Small group tours cost £17.50pp.
The Chapel Down winery shop in Tenterden is open from 10am to 5pm Wednesday to Sunday and visitors can enjoy wondering at leisure around the outside spaces and vineyards. Official guided tours will start from May 19 and cost £25 per person.
Gusbourne Estate in the historic village of Appledore is open for tours and picnics. A two-hour hosted tour costs £25pp and includes a tutored wine tasting in the Nest Garden. Visitors can also head to Boot Hill vineyard for a picnic of Kent and Sussex artisan cheese, charcuterie, local fruit, homemade bread and a bottle of Gusbourne Brut Reserve. Picnics cost £80, are available between midday and 3pm and must be booked in advance.
The Hush Heath Estate has re-opened the terrace of its state-of-the-art winery, so sit back with a glass of Balfour Brut rosé on ice and soak up the sunshine and views across the vines.
Tours, which include a tasting of three Balfour wines, ciders or beers and a sharing platter of local artisan deli items start from May 18th and cost £45pp.
A haven for natural wine lovers, tours have already begun at Terlingham, where tastings are given between the rows of vines and are paired with a cheeseboard. A new tasting barn (open on two sides) provides shelter if the heavens open. Tours cost £30pp.
With a fully retractable roof and bifold doors on both sides, The Mount’s Courtyard Restaurant and Oak Terrace is a popular place for ‘al fresco’ drinks and dining. The vineyard, near Sevenoaks, is open Wednesday to Sunday. Wine tastings will commence on May 19.
You can visit the vineyard for a self-guided vineyard tour and book a spot on the outdoor terrace for a glass or two of their award-winning organic wine overlooking the vines for an entry fee of £5. Guided tours, which cost £20 (£5 redeemable against a purchase) and include a guided tasting, start on May 1.
Denbies has a range of outdoor tours, including an outdoor vineyard train tour and a “secret” vineyard trail, which takes place on Saturdays and takes you to areas of the vineyard not usually accessible to the public. Tours with afternoon tea outside the Vinyard Hotel start in May and cost £45pp.
Vineyard tours and tastings at this vineyard on the outskirts of Guildford, take visitors on a relaxed walk through the vines, followed by a tutored tasting of several of their award winning sparkling and still wines on the newly built viewing deck right in the middle of one of the vineyards. Cameras are recommended. Tours cost £20pp.
Tours at this boutique vineyard in East Clandon are by appointment only but owners Bruce and Sibylla do fling open the doors to their glass barn for two weeks each June for their annual Art & Sculpture in the Vineyard event and to launch their latest vintage.
America Brewer, the charismatic owner of this wine estate near Robertsbridge is hosting vineyard tours and tastings on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. Walk among the vines, try the wines and view the quirky wine tasting room and hobbit house.
Each Saturday this vineyard near Rye opens for guided tours, offering an enlightening introduction to English organic wine revolution and tasting of four of Oxney’s best-loved wines. Tours start at 11am and cost £20pp. For an additional £20pp you can enjoy a post-tour picnic of local produce, although this must be booked in advance.
Responsible for the Sussex Sparkling PDO Ratfhinny is open from April 24 for outdoor picnics on the secluded Flint Barns bank overlooking the vineyard. Picnics cost £25pp, while the Balcony at the Tasting Room will be open for nibbles and wine from May 19.
Situated on the edge of the beautiful South Downs, Ridgeview has been producing wine for 25 years. Tours and tastings take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, cost £15 and include a tasting of three of their award-winning wines.
The outdoor Kin Café Wine Bar at Kinsbrook in West Chiltington has re-opened its doors offering tapas made using seasonal ingredients. Tables are available Wednesday to Sundayon a first come first served basis. Joe Beckett and his team will also be hosting monthly supper clubs from May 22. Tickets cost £85pp and include a five-course menu with wine pairings.
An introductory guided vineyard tour costing £12pp includes a walk around this picturesque family vineyard near Haywards Heath and a tasting of three of the wines. You can add a couple more wines and pair them with cheese for an extra £10.50. The outdoor viewing balcony is also open for dining.
You can do a tasting tour of this Nutbourne vineyard in Pulborough from April 24 for £20pp but they’ve also got a free vineyard trail, picnics available to buy and during the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May will be doing a restaurant pop-up in the wine lodge among the vines.
There are three tasting tours available at this vineyard near East Grinstead on Friday, Saturday and Sundays (10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm, £15pp). The cellar door is open every day however and there are beautiful walks around the outskirts of the estate, which is also home to two fishing lakes.