See our Spring offers for British products with lower prices

Best English Vineyards to visit this summer

Spring has sprung, the clocks have gone forward, lambs are frolicking in the fields, daffodils are in full bloom and there’s an awakened birdsong in the trees above. It can only mean one thing. English vineyards are about to re-open their doors for spring and summer visitors. But with our time-off limited, you want to be sure you’re visiting the best. So what are the best English vineyards to visit this summer? Read on to discover Barbury Hill’s favourites.

Langham Wine Estate, Dorset

In 2009 Justin Langham turned his father's small-scale vineyard into a commercial venture when he planted 27 acres of vines on their family farm near Dorchester in Dorset. The vineyard at Crawthorne Farm is south-facing, has chalky soils and a unique microclimate (often a couple of degrees warmer than the surrounding land); all important requirements for producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It’s these classic Champagne varieties that produce their exceptional English Sparkling Wine. In November 2020 Langham was awarded Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year at the highly regarded International Wine and Spirit Competition. This is no mean feat when you consider the IWSC Producer of the Year is chosen from over 700 entries and is the largest competition of its kind in the world.

Barn and picnic spot, Langham wine estate Picnic spot, Langham Wine Estate

What to expect?

We love working with the team at Langham Wine Estate. Why? They’re extremely passionate and this is true of their tours and tastings too. There are three options to choose from – self-guided tours, guided tours or a private tour. Advance booking is recommended before you make the journey to this rural location.

Getting there: Crawthorne, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 7NG. 

Sharpham Wine, Devon

Sharpham produces quality English still and sparkling wine grown around the Sandridge Barton Estate in South Devon, a stunningly beautiful spot on a loop of the River Dart. Sharpham’s Dart Valley Reserve is one of our favourite still wines and is fermented in stainless steel tanks for eight months with a small amount of the wine having contact with French Oak before it is carefully blended. Accolades and awards have been flowing in since they first planted a vineyard in 1981.

Sharpham wine estate River Dart, Sharpham Wine Estate

What to expect?

At the time of writing, Sharpham is moving the entire operation a short distance over the River Dart so the whole operation can happen in one place on Sandridge Barton Estate. There’ll be a state-of-the-art visitor centre, winery and café. We have no experience of tours from the new site but you can expect great value self-guided and guided options. Book now and be the first to experience tours from their new site this summer. Please get in touch and let us know your feedback.

Getting there: Sharpham Estate, Totnes, Devon TQ9 7UT 

Hattingley Valley Wines, Hampshire

A story of farm diversification, significant investment, and a talented head wine maker, Hattingley Valley produces highly acclaimed English Wines in rural Hampshire. Since the vineyard was first planted in 2008, Hattingley has won over 100 medals and 13 trophies for its English Sparkling, which is produced at their very impressive winery a mile or so from the vineyard (and handily a short stroll from the village pub).

 Hattingley Winery Hattingley Vines

What to expect?

Winery tours and tasting from £20 per person. A 1.5 – 2 hour experience where you’ll learn what’s behind Hattingley’s award-winning sparkling. The team is informative while bringing the tour to life and you’ll enjoy a tasting as part of the experience. Advance booking required. At the time of writing, the tours are available on Saturday and Sunday in groups of up to 16 people. Hattingley also caters for corporate and private events.

Getting there: Wield Yard, Lower Wield, Nr Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9AJ

Giffords Hall Vineyard, Suffolk

This is a beautiful vineyard to visit and one we highly recommend if you’re visiting Suffolk. Giffords Hall was first planted in 1986 and makes around 30,000 bottles per year. They make both still and sparkling but for us it’s their aromatic, still wines that set them apart from other English producers. We’re particularly fond of their red ‘St Edmundsbury ’Pinot Noir which is a rare find in English Wine. It’s named after the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds and, following an accident tradition, Giffords Hall still export a small amount to the Vatican.

Giffords Hall  Giffords Hall wine tasting

What to expect?

Tours open April – September. Whilst the weather is never guaranteed, a warm welcome will be. Explore the five-hectare vineyard before heading to the winery to learn about the different stages of the wine-making process and on to the tasting room to try three still wines and English liqueurs. Private group tours by appointment. Prices from £20 per person.

Getting there: Hartest, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 4EX

Chapel Down, Kent

One of England’s largest and best known producers, Chapel Down produces a range of premium still and sparkling wines from their base in Tenterden, Kent. Chapel Down wines are made from grapes grown in the chalky soils of the South East with partner vineyards across Kent, Sussex and Essex.

These are expressive English wines made by a highly skilled team, and highly deserving of the praise they receive.

Chapel Down Winery Chapel Down Vineyard

What to expect?

From £25 per person for a guided tour and tasting or £40 for the Explorer Experience which offers a behind the scenes tour followed by a light lunch. Tours last from two hours and include tasting six different wines. Children are welcome. Advance booking required.

Getting there: Small Hythe, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG

Oxney Organic Estate, East Sussex

Oxney is the largest single estate producer of English organic wine with 35 acres of vineyards tucked away at the end of long lane in rural East Sussex. Oxney is a hidden gem and well worth the visit. We love their winery, which is housed in a Grade Two listed oast house. It may be traditional from the outside but step inside and it’s kitted out with the latest wine production kit. Try the sparkling but don’t miss the still Chardonnay which is highly regarded and much loved by loyal consumers.

Oxney Wine Estate Wine tasting, Oxney

What to expect?

Guided tours, by appointment, available on Saturdays at 11am and 2pm at the Vineyard on Hobbs Lane (you might think you’ve missed it but keep driving down the narrow lane until you reach the turn on your left). From £25 per person for an in-depth tour with a member of the team.

Getting there: Hobbs Lane, Beckley, Rye, East Sussex TN31 6TU

Trevibban Mill, Cornwall

A family-owned vineyard and winery, tucked away on a sleepy lane just ten minutes south of Padstow. Historically a mill, the land is now home to vines, orchards and English sheep. Trevibban Mill produces still and sparkling wines, cider, and liqueurs in a glorious setting.

 Trevibban Mill Vineyard Award winning Orion, Trevibban Mill

What to expect?

Open to 12 – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday. A wonderful spot for a lazy lunch on the patio for those in holiday mode. Tastings and tours by appointment. Pricing from £20 per person for 1.5 hr guided tour including tasting. End of March to October.

Getting there: Vineyard & Orchards, Dark Lane, Nr Padstow, PL27 7SE

 

We hope our guide to the best English Vineyards to visit this summer fills you with inspiration and if you do make the journey to any of our favourites, we hope you enjoy the experience. But if you can’t make it in person, just visit our English Wine category to discover exceptional English Wine that can be delivered to your door.

 

 

Rebecca, Barbury Hill Copywriter

by Rebecca Lancaster, Copywriter
Rebecca, a talented writer, is a friend of Barbury Hill’s. When she’s not eating the best of British food and drink, she is writing about it. And when she’s not writing about it, she’s thinking about it.