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. As well as the immaculate 'strawberries and cream' of their Silent Pool Rosé, they also have an exciting range of elegant English sparkling wines and beautiful views to enjoy them in during a tour and tasting or while just relaxing on the vineyard-side patio.
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. Self-guided tours are available every week (and it's possible to book private tours too), and their wine shop is open to visitors seven days a week.
Found in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, near the market town of Dorking and the natural wonder of Box Hill, Denbies Wine Estate is currently the largest single estate vineyard in Britain. Family owned and run since 1984, the estate first began planting its vineyard in 1986. These days, some 265 acres of vines sprawl out from around the flint-clad Chateau-style visitor centre, which has helped Denbies become one of Surrey’s most popular food and drink tourism destinations. It helps that they are also home to a Vineyard Hotel, which is a great place to base yourself for a local food finding staycation in Surrey.
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 recently won a Gold Medal in the International Wine Challenge for their 2015 Rosé Reserve - one of only 12 English wines to win a Gold Medal in one of the most influential wine competitions in the world.
And, finally, a couple more English wine tasting experiences to consider...
Kent's Corkk, the English wine box, offer a subscription service to help you try different English wines every month. Every bottle is hand-picked by their Master of Wine.
The charismatic Francis Gimblett and team at Taste of the Vine run fun and informative wine, cheese and more tastings. A great way to explore the secrets of great food and drink, whatever your starting knowledge.
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