Britain is where you’ll find the most unique wine experiences this year
LONDON: Britain’s wine industry has been rapidly growing and receiving universal acclaim as wine buffs move their allegiances to the vines of South East England. Gone are the days of worrying about trying ‘old’ versus ‘new’ world – now it’s all about uncovering the unexpected and quaffing the best wine in the most surprising settings. We are talking about a Vinicultural Renaissance
The Beautiful South. It’s the chalky soil and cool climate of the South East, which includes Kent known as ‘the Garden of England’, that makes it perfect for creating bubbles too. With this favourable setting, it’s no surprise that it’s now home to several wineries that are producing English sparkling wine that’s set to rival the famed Champagne region.
Nyetimber. Probably the most famous of the lot, Nyetimber (link is external)in West Sussex was the royal wine of choice served by the Queen at both her Silver and Golden Jubilees. Quintessentially ‘British’, the Nyetimber estate goes back centuries – the first recording of it was in the 1086 Doomsday Book.
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British wines. When you sip a Nyetimber wine, you’re sipping grapes steeped in history. They also host open days throughout the year so you can see – and taste – for yourself why their wine is so popular.
Rathfinny Wines Delicious fizz in the stunning South Downs, with beautiful views across the East Sussex countryside. This 600-acre estate is just a hop, skip and walk from the sea too – so you can enjoy your wine with a side of fish and chips, a British classic.
Along with tours of the estate and wine trails, you can also enjoy a glass of their brand-new wine for 2018, the first vintage of their Sussex Sparkling in their Tasting Room, or book an overnight stay at the cosy Flint Barns in the estate’s pretty ‘Cradle Valley’.
Chapel Down Winery. Another award-winning winery, Chapel Down has its 22 acres of vineyards in Kent. This particular area is so picturesque, it’s been recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
You can enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards and winery which includes a tasting, or even book a three-course lunch or afternoon tea, accompanied, of course, by the winery’s award-winning wines — they also produce beers and spirits.
This is what The Wall Street Journal wrote: “Chapel Down offers a polished visitor experience complete with a retail shop and full-service restaurant. Its vineyard tours and tutored tastings provide overview of the process from vine to bottle.”
Biddenden Vineyards Established in 1969, the country’s oldest commercial vineyard was started by the Barnes family and matriarch Mrs Barnes’ passion for viticulture – and is still thriving today, run by the second and third generation.
As well as the vineyard’s 11 different grape varieties, which produce red, rosé, white and sparkling wines, you can also add traditional cider to your tasting notes about British wines.