Food & Drink
by Aspect County

Kentish Vines and Wines

Kent, the Garden of England, has also become renowned for some of the best wine estates in the country, thanks to the ideal soil type and highest sunshine hours in the UK. There are more than fifty vineyards in Kent, each with picturesque grounds to stroll through where you can marvel at the heavily-ladened vines and sample an array of still and sparkling wines. It’s the perfect way to raise a glass on a spring or summer day out! 

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In 2004, when the first vines were planted on Gusbourne Estate’s coastal escarpment in Kent, in the far south-eastern corner of England, the vision and a single goal was to create English Sparkling Wines that would stand up alongside the very finest offerings from across the globe. 

Focusing on just the classic grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, they believe that the only way to ensure the quality of their grapes is to grow their own. That’s why the grapes used in their winemaking are sourced solely from Gusbourne vineyards. 

The vineyards are blessed with a very special terroir and an exceptionally warm and dry maritime climate. These privileged growing conditions allow them to make wines that are exclusively vintage, which is very unusual in England. Each vintage is a unique expression of each growing season and presents an authentic reflection of a time and place.

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Traditional methods
Gusbourne’s traditional method sparkling winemaking is a slow and measured process. Their team has an uncompromising quest for quality and a fastidious approach to detail. They follow strict, self-imposed parameters to maintain their exacting standards and keep intervention to an absolute minimum to ensure the best expression of their wines each and every year.

Awards and where to enjoy
Gusbourne is the only three-time winner of the International Wine & Spirits Challenge English Wine Producer of the Year and is the proud recipient of over 300 awards at international competition, including the Platinum medal from Decanter for their most recent vintage of Blanc de Blancs 2016. They supply leading restaurants in the UK and abroad and can be found at esteemed retailers as well as many independent, specialist wine merchants across the UK

They host tours and tastings throughout the year at The Nest, their tasting room and cellar door in Appledore, Kent, where guests can find out what makes this corner of England so special for winemaking. From picnics to three-course lunches, there are a wide variety of tours available to choose from. They also run a series of special events over the course of the year to enable customers to get a closer, behind the scenes look at how they produce their wines. 

Michelin Chef Series returns
This year, their acclaimed Chef Series is back. Since 2018, some of the UK’s top chefs have been invited to Gusbourne to share their Michelin-starred talents with guests. The Hand and Flowers, Trinity, The Fordwich Arms and Restaurant Story will all be offering customers the unique opportunity to taste their exceptional dishes at The Nest. As a guest, you will start with a wander in the vines with canapés and an apéritif before sitting down for a bespoke multi-course meal served with Gusbourne sparkling and limited-edition wines. For more information and to book tickets, see their website below.