When one thinks of world-renowned wine regions, England may not be the first place that comes to mind. However, in recent years, English vineyards have been making waves in the wine industry, producing exceptional wines that have garnered international acclaim. The unique terrain and climate of Southern England, across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset, create the perfect conditions for sparkling wines, particularly those made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes. Harvest season is upon us, so if you’re a wine enthusiast or simply curious about English wines, here are the 8 best vineyards in England that you must visit.
Nyetimber, located in the picturesque West Sussex countryside, is often regarded as one of England’s finest vineyards. Established in 1988, Nyetimber was one of the pioneers in the production of English sparkling wine. Their commitment to quality has led to numerous awards and accolades.
Visitors to Nyetimber can explore the beautiful vineyards and the state-of-the-art winery through guided tours. The highlight of the visit is undoubtedly the tasting session, where you can savour their exquisite sparkling wines, including the classic Nyetimber Cuvee Chérie, which showcases the elegance of English wine.
Stay here: Elizabethan Manor
Ridgeview Wine Estate, in East Sussex, has established itself as a leading producer of English sparkling wine. With a family legacy dating back to the 1990s, Ridgeview has consistently delivered exceptional wines.
A visit to Ridgeview offers an immersive experience into the world of English fizz. The guided tours take you through the vineyards, offering insights into the winemaking process. Don’t miss the chance to sample their flagship Ridgeview Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs, a sparkling wine that exemplifies the superb quality of English bubbly.
Stay here: Lewes Barn
Gusbourne Estate, also located in Kent, is a hidden gem in the world of English wine. This boutique winery is renowned for its dedication to producing small-batch, high-quality sparkling wines.
A visit to Gusbourne is an intimate experience, allowing guests to stroll through the vineyards and witness the winemaking process firsthand. The tastings are a delight, with their Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs stealing the spotlight – a wine celebrated for its finesse and depth.
Stay here: The Bee Barn
Chapel Down, situated in the picturesque county of Kent, is one of the most iconic names in the English wine industry. Known for its commitment to sustainable viticulture and innovative winemaking techniques, Chapel Down has earned a stellar reputation.
A visit to Chapel Down is a treat for the senses. The vineyard tours provide an up-close look at their vineyards, winery, and cellars. The tasting sessions feature an array of wines, including their signature Chapel Down Brut, a classic English sparkling wine that captures the essence of the region.
Stay here: Northiam Oak Barn
Bolney Wine Estate, nestled in the scenic West Sussex countryside, is a family-run vineyard with a rich history dating back to 1972. The Bolney Estate has a passion for producing a wide range of wines, including sparkling, red, white, and rosé.
Visitors to Bolney can enjoy guided tours of the vineyards and winery, gaining insights into their sustainable and eco-friendly practices. The tasting sessions offer a diverse selection of wines, with the Bolney Bubbly Rosé standing out as a delightful representation of English sparkling wine.
Stay here: Ovingdean House
Image credit: Ed Dallimore
Langham Wine Estate offers a delightful escape for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. This hidden gem boasts sprawling vineyards that produce award-winning English sparkling wines, renowned for their quality and distinct character. Visitors can take leisurely strolls through the lush vineyards, where the vines bask in the gentle British sun. The estate’s charming tasting room invites guests to savour these exceptional wines while enjoying panoramic views of the rolling hills. Langham Wine Estate is the perfect destination for a tranquil day out, where the beauty of the landscape harmonises with the elegance of its wines.
Stay here: Folly Lodge West
In the heart of scenic West Sussex, Kinsbrook Vineyard is a wine lover’s paradise waiting to be discovered. This family-owned gem invites visitors to wander through lush vineyards, where rows of vines thrive under the English sun. The estate’s commitment to sustainability and artisanal craftsmanship shines through in its exceptional wines, showcasing the unique terroir of the region. Guests can indulge in wine tastings, accompanied by knowledgeable staff who share the vineyard’s rich history and winemaking secrets.
Stay here: Kirdford Farmhouse
Amidst the rolling hills of Hampshire, Hambledon Wine Estate stands as a beacon of British winemaking excellence. This historic vineyard, with roots tracing back to the 1950s, is renowned for its meticulously crafted sparkling wines. Visitors can embark on captivating tours through the sprawling vineyards, where Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes thrive, reflecting the terroir’s essence. The state-of-the-art winery invites wine enthusiasts to discover the secrets behind their award-winning bubbles, followed by tastings in a charming setting.
Stay here: New England Mansion
While France and Italy may be more famous for their wines, England’s vineyards are making a name for themselves in the world of sparkling wines. These five choices of the best vineyards in England offer not only exceptional wine but also a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of the English countryside. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a curious traveller, a visit to these vineyards will leave you with a newfound appreciation for English wine and the terroir that makes it so special. So, raise your glass to the growing excellence of English wine – it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
That’s Oliver’s pick of the best vineyards in England. Explore the gorgeous properties that we have to offer in Britain & Ireland or take a look at Oliver’s Travels to see where you could have a luxurious stay elsewhere in the world. With so much on offer, it might be hard to decide, so contact our friendly concierge team who can advise where best to stay and organise some added extras to make your holiday unforgettable!