Vineyards up and down the country will be celebrating English Wine Week from June 19th – 27th
Dine among the vines
You can dine at a number of vineyards across the South East and beyond, either in their own restaurants or at special pop ups among the vines. Some of our favourites are:
Enjoy a vineyard tasting of a selection of wines from the Vineyards of the Surrey Hills, followed by a three-course dinner in The Gallery Restaurant with panoramic views across the hundreds of acres of vines at this Dorking-based vineyard. £65pp.
Tables will be popping up among the vines at Hambledon, where groups of four can enjoy a locally sourced al-fresco lunch accompanied with world-beating English fizz and the chance to add on tasting sessions and tours. Available on selected dates throughout the summer from £150 for a table of four.
The family-run single wine estate Charles Palmer Vineyard, near Winchelsea, is offering a selection of Farm Feast events with unique menus designed by VisitEngland award-winners Vine and Country Tours. The evenings will include a seasonal, locally sourced feast served straight from a wood-fired grill, matched by wines from the estate, as a tour of the vineyard and a chance to meet the wine-makers. Tickets cost £60 per adult and £30 for children.
The 300-acres estate in Westerham (main picture) has recently won some top accolades for its sparkling wines, placing it among the top five Champagne and sparkling wine brands globally. You can enjoy the vines al fresco at The Terrace restaurant during the day or in their new Bottle Store restaurant in the evenings.
Book a vineyard break
From a hobbit house to luxury tree-houses and tepee-style glamping, more and more vineyards are offering their own accommodation if you want to extend your stay or simply don’t want to worry about appointing a designated driver. Some of the newest offerings for 2021 include:
The pretty Ashling Park, on the outskirts of Chichester, has recently added four charming new lodges, to its offering. Built by William Hardie, of Channel Four’s Amazing Spaces, the one and two-bedroom lodges, are named after different stages in the cycle of the vineyard (Budburst, Flowering, Veraison, Harvest and Fall) and copper roll-top baths and picture windows overlooking the vines. From £225 per night.
Nestled across from the vines at Black Chalk Wine, on the banks of the River Test near Andover, you will find four quirky wooden houses on stilts – the first treehouses in the UK to be built on a vineyard. Designed by Will Hardy, of Wild Escapes (no connection to William Hardie of Amazing Spaces mentioned above), each of these luxury lodges features an outdoor bath tub – the perfect place to sit and sip some fizz. The Black Chalk team will even come and do a private tasting in your treehouse for you. Overnight stays for two start from £274.
Bespoke wine travel operator Smooth Red has launched a brand new 11-day Grand English Tour for 2021, taking in wineries across the South of England and including boutique accommodation and private experiences including a river cruise up the Dart for a guided wine tasting and chauffeured tour of Hampshire vineyards.
Explore an urban winery
Many of South East’s vineyards are easily accessible from London, but if you live in the city and are short on time, then check out one of the capital’s urban wineries.
Tucked away down a little alleyway in SW6, London Cru is based in an old Victorian warehouse, which in a previous life was a gin distillery. Owned by Cliff Roberson, London Cru opened in 2013 as the city’s first urban winery and for the past four years has been creating wines made from grapes exclusively sourced from English vineyards. The winery is open for purchases of its award-winning wines between Monday to Friday and for tours by prior appointment only.
Opened in 2017 by winemaker Sergio and wife Lynsey, Blackbook is located in Battersea under a rail arch just north of Clapham Common. The couple source all their fruit from growers in the United Kingdom and are keen supporters of the free wine movement. You can visit for tours and tastings priced at £20pp.
Established in 2016 by Warwick Smith, Renegade in Bethnal Green, East London makes small batch artisanal wines using grapes grown in both the UK and continental Europe. All the fruit Warwick purchases has been hand harvested and then vinified in London and the bar also sell wines from other urban winemakers across the globe.
For more ideas on how to celebrate English Wine Week, you can find a calendar of events listings on the WineGB website.