BookCottages.com Blog


THURSDAY, 17TH FEBRUARY 2011
Award Winning UK Vineyards to Visit

View from the room at Three Choirs vineyard - flickr - Peter

Forget France. Forget Italy, California, South Africa or Australia. If you want to visit vineyards and discover the art of wine making, you will find many closer to home. What may take you by surprise is that they produce internationally recognised award winning wines.

Yes, we British can hold our own against our French rivals when it comes to wine making.  If you fancy a trip to the local vineyards, here are some of the best places to visit.  Just don't go expecting that you can dance in bare feet, crushing the grapes.

Camel Valley, Cornwall
Camel Valley is probably one of the best wine makers in Britain. It has a long list of awards to its name, including the best sparkling Rose in the world in 2010. Located in a beautiful part of Cornwall, surrounded by glorious countryside, Camel Valley is the best place to start your discovery of British wines.

It offers guided tours of the vineyards, including a visit to the winery where you will discover how grapes are turned into award winning wines. If you fancy staying for a night or two, Camel Valley also offers accommodation. 

The accommodation consists of two barns converted into cottages.  They have stunning views of the vineyards and overlook the valley.  Camel Valley offers a tranquil setting for a bit of rest and relaxation. 

Additionally, just 10 miles away from the vineyard are Rick Stein's Restaurants by Padstow's sandy beach. The Eden Project is also close by, just 8 miles away.  Its website: www.camelvalley.com will give you more information on how to book your vineyard tour.

Bolney Wine Estate, Sussex
Another wine maker with a number of awards to its name, including a silver award in the International Wine Challenge 2010, is Bolney Wine Estate. Located in the midst of the beautiful Sussex countryside, the estate has been making wine since 1972, under the name Bookers Vineyard.  At that time, it only had 3 acres of vines, a far cry from the current 22 acres.

The estate offers wine enthusiasts a luxury tour of the vineyards. The tour starts with tea or coffee and an introduction about the estate and the history of English wine making. You then get to see part of the vineyards and learn about planting and harvesting.  This is then followed with a tour of the state-of-the-art winery and bottling room. The tour is finished off with a tasting of its excellent wines.

Finally, you are served with a Sussex cheese ploughman lunch.  You also get to take a bottle of red wine home.  You can visit its website at: www.bolneywineestate.co.uk to find more information on vineyard tours.

Ancre Hills Estate, Wales
Ancre Hills Estate is situated just outside of Monmouth, in the midst of the Wye Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The area is blessed with comparatively low rainfall. It is surrounded by tree topped hills and towards the north are the famous Brecon Beacons. 

The owners and their children planted their first vines in April 2006.  Since then, Ancre Hills has been producing very good Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir and Triomphe grapes.  In 2010, it won a Silver medal in the Decanter World Wine Awards and a Bronze Medal in the International Wine and Spirit Competition.

The owners are very happy for visitors to come to their Cellar Door and taste some of their wines.  They also serve local Welsh cheeses and they will happily advise you on the best cheese to complement your wine. 

You can also take a guided tour of the vineyards and learn more about the wine making. To find information on opening times and how to book a visit, you can go to its website at: www.ancrehillestates.co.uk.

Bosue Vineyard, South Cornwall
This small vineyard is located about 2 miles from Mevagissey, a small fishing village in Cornwall. Bosue Vineyard is close to the Lost Gardens of Heligan.  Wine making is only a part of the business, so, opening times are limited. Generally, it has open days between May and September. 

You can also visit some other days but you have to give them a call prior to your visit to ensure that there is someone there to assist you.  Visit their website: www.cornwallwines.co.uk to see their opening days.

Bosue Vineyard currently has 3500 vines and produces red, white, rose and sparkling wines.  When you visit, for a small charge the owners will give you a full guided tour of the vineyards and will also explain their wine making process.  As part of the tour, you also get to taste the different wines they make. 

Alternatively, if you are happy to wander around on your own then you are very welcome to do so. It's free and they will give you a map to help you find your way around the vineyards.

POSTED BY: PAUL
AT 11:36

share


Blog Archive

Newsletter
Add your details and we will let you know about the latest special offers and news from BookCottages.com.
* Signup here