Situated on the southern slopes of the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey Hills, just outside Guildford, Albury Organic Vineyard is one of the few vineyards to practice biodynamic principles in the UK. If you didn't know, this means everything from pruning the vines with the phases of the moon to stuffing manure into cow horns that are then buried under the vineyard – all in the name of creating a more natural vineyard. Albury run tour and tasting days (£15 per person) on Fridays or Saturdays between May and September, and are hosting a special bread-making event (£35 per person) with fellow Local Food Britain member Bake With Jack on Sunday June 3.
Kent’s original commercial vineyard, producing award-winning English sparkling wines, ciders and juices, Biddenden Vineyards was founded in 1969. The first Biddenden wine was bottled around 1972 and production has now grown to around 80,000 bottles per year. They run charity tours (£1 per person) on Saturdays all year round and on Wednesdays from June through to September. Following hot on the heels of English Wine Week, Biddenden Vineyards is hosting its 12th annual Food and Drink Day on Sunday June 10.
It's been a season to celebrate for Bluebell Vineyard Estates. They received a Gold Outstanding in the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) for their Hindleap Late Disgorged Blanc de Blancs 2008, which was ranked in the top eight English wines overall. Established on the site of a former pig farm, the transition from swine to vine began with their first plantings in 2005. They now have 70 acres under-vine stretching across East and West Sussex. Their tours take place on Fridays and Saturdays (advance booking required) and cost £16 per person. Sussex Wineries Weekend takes place from Friday June 15 to Sunday June 17 and, as well as tours and tastings, Bluebell Vineyard Estates will host an open day on Saturday June 16.
Set in a beautiful location on the southern face of the Hog’s Back between Farnham and Guildford, Greyfriars Vineyard is very much a family affair. Mike and Hilary Wagstaff took over the 25-year-old vineyard in 2010 and have extended it from the original one-and-a-half acre site to almost 50 acres on three sites. They were recently awarded a Gold Outstanding award in the IWSC 2018 for their Blanc de Blancs 2013. On Saturday June 2, they will be hosting an English Wine Week open day.
One of the smallest commercial wineries in the UK, West Fisher Winery started production in 2009 and operate a little differently to our other Local Food Britain wine producers. They purchase their grapes from vineyards in Surrey, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Wiltshire, rather than having their own vineyard. West Fisher Winery opens on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 1pm to 6pm, for drop in customers - and any other time by appointment.