Wine capital of the UK
English wine week takes place this month from Saturday 18 to Sunday 26 June
Whilst England boasts some 700 plus vineyards, 140 of those are located in the South. Thanks to the perfect growing conditions of climate and soil quality Sussex and Kent are particularly popular regions for growing vines, with the most popular grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Bacchus being grown, in both large commercial vineyards and small-scale estates. It will come of no surprise that the South East has now earned the title of Wine Capital of the UK.
Being the UK’s sunniest region and blessed with chalk soil similar to that of the Champagne region of France, many Champagne producers have also taken and interest in Kent, including Tattinger, who in 2015 bought a vineyard in Kent melding English and French sparkling wine expertise. The Government have also granted protected status to Sussex sparkling wine.
English wine is certainly growing in popularity and thanks to a spectacular array of vineyards, producing an abundance of top-quality wine, the country has been recognised as a premium wine producing region and it is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors. As well as an increase in production there is an abundance of people keen to tour vineyards, learn how to grow world-class grapes and of course sample the wine.
Tours and tasting
With many of the award-winning vineyards offering tours and tasting experiences, if you’re looking for a day out with a difference, the chance to enjoy lunch served with a tasty English wine overlooking the vines is something not to be missed. Perhaps you’re looking for a UK staycation with a difference, then an overnight stay waking up in the rolling English countryside is a wonderful experience for wine experts and novices alike.
English Wine Week is the ideal opportunity to discover beautiful estates, learn about the winemaking process in the UK, take a tour, and in tasting the wines, find your perfect glass of English white, sparkling or rosé!
Balfour, Biddenden, Carr Taylor, Chapel Down, Mountfield, Simpsons, Squerryes and Westwell are just some of the fantastic vineyards in Kent and Sussex where a warm welcome awaits.
Another fabulous vineyard to visit is Oastbrook Estate Vineyard. Full of character, great owners and amazing wines. Be sure to try their award-winning Pinot Gris and why not book a stay in their Hobbit House or luxury glamping.
Gusbourne are offer a Tasting and Lunch with Alfred Enderby Fine Smoked Fish which includes a special tour to sample the Chardonnay Guinevere 2020 – a release made especially for English Wine Week, followed by a sampling of fine fish paired with Gusbourne wines.
Head down to the heart of 1066 Country where on Saturday 25th June you’ll find the first annual, Robertsbridge Grape and Grain festival, celebrating local English producers of fine wines, beers and gins. From delicate English Bacchus to robust and hoppy IPA, join in in the afternoon celebration and sample some of the best tipples the south-east has to offer.
On the same day, but over in Kent, the ‘vineyard of England’ is coming to Canterbury for a one-day wine-tasting event with Master of Wine Clive Barlow, there will be over fourteen producers on display to try and buy, to savour at home.
Enjoy a week of discovery, you’ll be amazed at the wine producers you’ll find right on your doorstep plus you’ll be supporting the British wine industry by buying and investing in the local producers.