Top tours and tastings in the English countryside.
English Wine Week is back. After the challenges of 2020 pushed the annual event largely online, this year’s celebration – taking place 19-27 June – will see England’s producers flinging their cellar doors open to welcome visitors keen to learn more about the country’s flourishing wine industry.
We’ve rounded up the top estates that are offering tastings and tours to mark the occasion. All require advance reservation, so book now to make sure you don’t miss out. If you can’t get to a vineyard, though, you can still celebrate at home – read our guide to the top English wine producers for a steer on choosing a bottle.
Three Choir Vineyards, Gloucestershire
One of England’s oldest vineyards, Three Choirs has been producing wine since 1973. The estate offers a vineyard tour and wine tasting experience for just £15 per person on Saturdays and Sundays, with the option to book lunch at its beautiful brasserie afterwards. Book here.
Blackdown Ridge, Sussex Weald
Sitting 440 feet above sea level in the Sussex Weald, Blackdown Ridge enjoys extraordinary views over the South Downs National Park. The estate offers a two-hour vineyard and winery tour on Fridays and Saturdays for just £15 per person, including tasting and nibbles. Book here.
Gusbourne Estate, Kent
The original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent dates all the way back to 1410. The property offers a number of tours, ranging from a two-hour vineyard tour with tutored tasting (£25 per person) to a day-long estate tour which includes a leisurely three-course lunch (£95 per person). Book here.
Hush Heath Estate, Kent
This Kentish estate is nestled around the magnificent Tudor-framed Hush Heath manor, which dates back to 1503. The property offers a host of tours to suit all tastes and budgets, from hour-long cellar door tastings (from £25 per person) to a comprehensive art and wine tour that takes in beautiful pieces of art and sculpture from Richard and Leslie Balfour-Lynn’s own private collection (£35 per person). There’s also a variety of wine and dine experiences available. Book here.
Halfpenny Green, Staffordshire
Established in 1983, Halfpenny Green produces world-class wines from its base in the south Staffordshire countryside. Its tour takes place on Saturdays and Sundays, and includes a visit to the vineyards and winery, a tasting of four wines and a set two-course meal for just £27.50 per person. Book here
Furleigh Estate, Dorset
This picturesque property lies just five miles from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The estate offers two options to visitors. The ‘Classic Tour’ runs on Wednesdays and lasts around 90 mins, and includes a stroll through the vineyards and winery plus a tutored tasting (£15 per person). The two-hour ‘Grand Tour’, meanwhile, takes place on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and includes a more comprehensive tour and tasting session. Book here.
Bride Valley, Dorset
Set in the beautiful Dorset countryside, Bride Valley offers tours and tastings every Thursday and Saturday. Lasting around 90 minutes, each tour includes a guided walk around the vineyard followed by a tutored tasting of three Bride Valley wines, for £20 per person. Book here.
Chapel Down, Kent
Located within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the renowned Chapel Down estate offers a number of tours and experiences, but visitors should get acquainted with the property with its classic guided tour. Taking place from Wednesday to Sunday, the tour lasts one hour and 45 minutes, and includes a visit to the vineyards and winery, followed by a tutored tasting of Chapel Down’s award-winning range of sparkling and still wines (£25 per person). Book here.