- 1. Denbies Wine Estate
- 2. Chapel Down
- 3. Sandridge Barton: the home of Sharpham Wine
- 4. Three Choirs Vineyards
- 5. Oastbrook Estate Vineyard
- 6. Darts Farm’s Pebblebed Vineyard
- 7. Thornbury Castle Hotel & Restaurant
- 8. Tinwood Estate
- 9. Ryedale Vineyards
- 10. Woodchester Valley Vineyard
- 11. Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard
- 12. Oxney Organic Estate
- 13. Cairn o’ Mohr
- 14. Hambledon Vineyard
- 15. Castlewood Vineyard
- 16. Llanerch Vineyard
- 17. Ashling Park Estate
- 18. Langham Wine Estate
- 19. Camel Valley
- 20. Ridgeview Wine Estate
- 21. Greyfriars Vineyard
- 22. Tillingham Winery
- 23. Rathfinny Wine Estate
A free daily digest of the biggest news stories of the day - and the best features from our website
Thank you for signing up to TheWeek. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
British wine may have been “the butt of many – mostly French – jokes for decades”, but “whisper it” quietly, it’s really “rather good”, said Time Out. The UK’s wine scene is “growing all the time” and there are plenty of places where visitors can book experiences or even stay the night.
Wine enthusiasts are “quickly discovering” that England is a “treasure trove for world-class wines”, said Great British Life. With wine tourism gaining “significant traction” and more ranges and styles of wines being released, the future is looking bright for the domestic wine industry.
English Wine Week takes place from 17-23 June, so it’s a “great time to visit a vineyard, or pick up a bottle”, said Good Housekeeping. But don’t just think that England is the only home nation where wine enthusiasts can enjoy tastings, tours and attractions, Wales and Scotland also have fine wine offerings.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
In this round-up, we take a look at some of the UK’s best vineyards and wineries where you can book wine experiences or a room.
1. Denbies Wine Estate
Nestled in the heart of the Surrey Hills in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Denbies Wine Estate is one of England’s largest single estate vineyards. Visitors can enjoy indoor wine tasting tours, outdoor vineyard train tours and eat at a number of restaurants, including Gallery Restaurant, Vineyard Restaurant & Wine Library, Conservatory Restaurant, and the Hatch On The Lawn Takeaway. The estate is also home to the Denbies Vineyard Hotel, which has 17 en suite rooms. The hotel has been “designed with the vineyard at its heart”, said The Telegraph. One of Britain’s first vineyard hotels, the “setting of this boutique property doesn’t disappoint”.
2. Chapel Down
Kent-based vineyard Chapel Down is perhaps “the most well-known wine producer in the UK”, said Time Out. The guided tour is “a lot of fun” and it helps that “the wine is great, too”. Chapel Down has won numerous awards throughout the years and its Classic NV Brut is one of the “most accessible” English sparkling wines – “both from a price point and national availability”, said Great British Wine. As well as tours Chapel Down also hosts experiences and visitors can book a table at its restaurant, The Swan Wine Kitchen.
3. Sandridge Barton: the home of Sharpham Wine
“For those in the know”, no staycation to south Devon “is complete” without a “quick stop-off” at Sharpham Wine, said FOOD magazine. Now located downriver at its “shiny new home” at Sandridge Barton, visitors can enjoy award-winning wines and “delicious” food provided by Exeter-based restaurant Circa. Last summer Sandridge Barton unveiled its new winery and visitor centre, set among the rolling hills between Torbay and the River Dart. Experiences and facilities include guided and self-guided tastings, walking trails through the estate and vineyards, and a shop stocking the full range of wines as well as Sharpham Dairy cheeses. The Sandridge Barton estate also offers self-catering holiday properties.
4. Three Choirs Vineyards
One of England’s oldest vineyards, Three Choirs is celebrating 50 years since the first vines were planted in 1973 on the estate in Newent, Gloucestershire. It now boasts 75 acres of vines and currently produces around 250,000 bottles of wine a year. Facilities and experiences include The Brasserie restaurant, Cellar Door shop, plus wine tastings and vineyard tours. With “fabulous views” and offering “something different”, there’s even accommodation onsite, said The Hotel Guru. The lodges and rooms are “smart and spacious” with “hints of luxury”.
5. Oastbrook Estate Vineyard
East Sussex, England
Set in a rolling valley, Oastbrook Estate’s winery is itself an “outstanding architectural feature”, said WineTourism.com. Surrounded by vineyards and offering luxury accommodation “this truly is a unique place to visit to try amazing wines”. Oastbrook produces a range of award winning sparkling and still wines that “reflect the exceptional micro-climate of the Rother Valley”. As well as luxury glamping and the Scandinavian-style Avalon Waterside Lodge, the estate is also home to its own “Hobbit house”. Located in the midst of the vineyard, “Vineyard Hollow” has two bedrooms, a living area, indoor stove and even a hot tub.
6. Darts Farm’s Pebblebed Vineyard
Visitors can book tours and tastings at Darts Farm’s 18-acre Pebblebed Vineyard and traditional winery, which is situated in the village of Clyst St George in east Devon. Taking place until September, the two-hour tours cost £30 per person and include a glass of fizz on arrival, wine tasting and local cheese and charcuterie plate. Pebblebed Vineyard is one of very few single estate producers in the country, with the vineyard and winery in one place and wines made from their own grapes.
7. Thornbury Castle Hotel & Restaurant
South Gloucestershire, England
Located just north of Bristol, Thornbury Castle is the only Tudor castle to be open as a hotel in England – and guests can enjoy wines from grapes grown in its own vineyard. Covering one acre, the vineyard was planted in the 1970s and grows Muller Thurgau and Phoenix grape varieties. This “authentic, magnificent, thundering” castle is the “real deal”, said Country & Town House magazine. Definitely go to “see” the Tudor Walled Gardens, vineyard and orchard, but don’t forget to “buy” a bottle of Thornbury Castle wine. Other facilities include a 16th century cavern, which lies beneath the ground floor of the castle, and is home to a bonded wine cellar and dinner service for up to eight people.
8. Tinwood Estate
West Sussex, England
There’s plenty of attractions for wine aficionados at the Tinwood Estate in West Sussex. Located on the edge of the South Downs near Chichester, visitors can book vineyard tours, tastings and afternoon teas. Tinwood Estate has also launched its new “Vineyard Kitchen” restaurant concept, which serves lunch every day and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. One of the big highlights here are the three luxury vineyard lodges – where guests can enjoy a glass of sparkling wine from rooms with views “overlooking vines as far as the eye can see”, said Sarah Karmali on Harper’s Bazaar. The estate first started planting in 2007 and since then “has built a reputation as one of the finest producers of English sparkling wine”.
9. Ryedale Vineyards
North Yorkshire, England
The Ryedale Vineyards in North Yorkshire offers more than wine – it also makes cider from the estate’s orchards. Voted one of the best vineyards to visit and tour in England, it offers an “informal, humorous and informative guided tour”. For those wanting to stay, Ryedale has two “cosy en suite rooms in the farmhouse”, said The Guardian, and the “slap-up breakfast” is the “perfect way to start a day” exploring the surrounding North Yorkshire wolds.
10. Woodchester Valley Vineyard
This Cotswolds vineyard is “putting Gloucestershire on the map as a world-class wine destination”, said Muddy Stilettos. Located in the Stroud valleys, “family-run boutique winery” Woodchester Valley has been producing world-class white, rosé and sparkling wines since 2016 and visitors can book tours, tastings or enjoy a “sip-and-stay experience with a difference”. In January Woodchester Valley was “the toast of the wine world” when its 2021 vintage was judged one of the best Sauvignon Blancs at a prestigious blind-tasting, said Stroud Times. It was the first English still wine to win a Master medal in The Global Sauvignon Blanc Masters.
11. Gwinllan Conwy Vineyard
Llandudno Junction, Wales
There are vineyards “blossoming” all across Wales, said Natasha Lovell-Smith on Great British Food Awards. And one of the most popular is Gwinllan Conwy, which has received multiple national and international awards. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia Mountain Range, the “success” of this vineyard is “underpinned by the microclimate” of north Wales, which “pairs resemblance” to the climate of New Zealand. Thanks to its proximity to the sea, this means the vineyard “experiences mild winters allowing the vines to develop earlier”. This beautiful vineyard offers tours and wine tasting experiences throughout the year and at the on-site shop visitors can purchase Welsh artisan produce or Welsh hampers.
12. Oxney Organic Estate
East Sussex, England
Located near Rye in East Sussex, the Oxney Organic Estate makes “delectable chardonnays and fizz”, said The Times. Just as the name suggests this 35-acre vineyard is said to be the “largest single-estate” maker of organic English wines. With wine tours every Saturday from April to September guests can taste several bottles of Oxney’s still and sparkling wines. And on a sunny day, you’ll be able to take in the beautiful country views on an idyllic picnic lunch after your tour. Best of all, “you can sleep off” your top-ups in the estate’s converted barn, shepherd’s hut or farmhouse cottage.
13. Cairn o’ Mohr
Set on a farm in Perthshire, Cairn o’ Mohr has been producing award-winning country wines since 1987. With its wines made from fresh fruit, leaves and blossoms picked from the surrounding countryside, this is a “dreamy place”, said VisitScotland, and one that’s “quirky, colourful and fun”. At this “strange Scottish winery” visitors can book tours and tastings or grab a bite to eat at The Pickled Peacock cafe.
14. Hambledon Vineyard
Hambledon Vineyard boasts the title of England’s oldest commercial vineyard and despite “flying the flag for English fizz” since 1952 “it’s still full of new ideas”, said Time Out. The small family-run operation’s “charm” is showcased in its wine tours and the pop-up restaurant is a “lovely touch”. Not only is it great for tours, but Hambledon Vineyard is also “good for parties or weddings”, said Victoria Moore in The Daily Telegraph. While the wine itself is “exceptional” so too is the “beautiful spot” the vineyard is located in.
15. Castlewood Vineyard
For those looking for “fizz and festivals” look no further than Castlewood Vineyard in Devon, said Condé Nast Traveller. Its story began in 2006 on a south-facing Devon hillside overlooking the River Axe with owner Rob Corbett planting his vines by hand. Now the vineyard offers private tours and a festival, where people come to celebrate the release of the latest vintage. You can stay in one of the Grade-II listed cottages where you’ll be “surrounded by pretty gardens and countryside”. Equally, if you’re unable to stay the steep slopes of the vineyard still offer “amazing views of the Axe Valley”. Castlewood has announced that 2023 is a “fallow year”, meaning its festival will return in 2024.
16. Llanerch Vineyard
Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Tucked into the Welsh countryside, yet only 20 minutes away from Cardiff, Llanerch Vineyard offers “a drop of romance”, said Kerry Walker in The Daily Telegraph. While the vineyard itself is built on a “whitewashed farmhouse” from 1851 and pulls off the “delicate act of combining original features”, the hotel rooms are “bright and contemporary”.
Beyond the hotel and wine, is the “perkily turreted Neo-Gothic” Hensol Castle which is only a 15-minute walk away. But where Llanerch really “shines” is its restaurant which overlooks the vineyard and offers “great” food and “bang-on” service. You may “come for a wine tour” but you’ll “stay for the imaginative locally sourced food”.
17. Ashling Park Estate
West Sussex, England
Ashling Park is a vineyard and winery – and what wine it is, said Neil Davey on TheWeek.co.uk. But it also offers a gin school, an excellent restaurant and some delightful luxury lodges. The visitor centre and shop is very good and the tour is informative.
Ashling Park has been named “Best Classic Cuvée NV” for two years running at the Wine GB Awards, seeing off all the more familiar names within the industry. It’s also a Decanter Gold Medal winner.
18. Langham Wine Estate
At this environmentally conscious vineyard way down in the heart of the West Country, hand-picked grapes are processed on site “using an amalgamation of old and new methods, which visitors are talked through on the two-hour-long guided tours”, said Country Living. And if an afternoon of wine tasting really takes it out of you, a sumptuous collection of lunches and afternoon teas are available in the vineyard café. With wines made solely from the classical champagne grape varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, this is high-quality fare – be sure not to miss the Rosé NV, which is packed full of gorgeous berry flavours.
19. Camel Valley
Made up of 82 acres of rolling hills bathed in southerly sunshine, Camel Valley is Cornwall’s largest vineyard. Visitors can join a number of tours and tastings, or sit on a stone-clad terrace, sipping Pinot Noir Rosé Brut as they watch the sun set over vineyards that slope down to the River Camel as it snakes from Bodmin Moor to Padstow. A trip to Camel Valley “really is a must”, said food writer Rachel Phipps. If you’ve had “a fair bit of English wine”, or you’re a “total beginner”, you want to try it at its best.
20. Ridgeview Wine Estate
East Sussex, England
Looking out of the tasting room window at Ridgeview Wine Estate, the inspiration for the name is clear. Beyond the vines stretching out across the valley, the landscape rises towards the chalk escarpment of the South Downs, which divides the vineyard from Brighton and the sea. It’s not only a beautiful view – it also helps to explain why this part of Sussex has a flourishing wine industry. Ridgeview offers guided tours, relaxed wine tastings, or a dining experience at The Rows and Vine restaurant. The estate also hosts its own festival, Ridgefest, every summer.
21. Greyfriars Vineyard
Located on the Surrey Hills, Greyfriars Vineyard has been making wine since 1989. The winery is “developing nicely” and on the day we visited it was “great to see several groups of people waiting for a tour and tasting”, said Secret Sommelier. It not only demonstrated “how appealing the growing wine scene is in the UK”, it also shows that “the audience interest in English wines is growing”.
Greyfriars’s tour with wine tasting takes visitors on a guided walk through the beautiful vineyards finishing with a “tutored tasting” of several of its award-winning sparkling and still wines.
22. Tillingham Winery
East Sussex, England
Less than a 15-minute drive away from the historic town of Rye you’ll find Tillingham Winery. Here visitors can book onto one of the vineyard tours in advance and enjoy the “country life” that’s incorporated into the surroundings, said Kaye O’Doherty on TheWeek.co.uk.
As well as tours and tastings, Tillingham also offers 11 double rooms in a former hop barn and a restaurant with vistas over the Sussex countryside. Chef Brendan Eades, who scooped a Michelin green star in 2022, cooks up an exceptional, pescatarian feast with fish caught daily on Rye harbour.
23. Rathfinny Wine Estate
Alfriston, East Sussex
Reminiscent of the “corduroy-striped vineyards” of Champagne in France, Rathfinny brings a touch of “Épernay éclat” to southern England, said The Telegraph. The 600-acre Rathfinny Estate is home to The Flint Barns, which has 10 en-suite bedrooms, and the “stylish” Tasting Room restaurant, which is “a boon to the Sussex gastro scene”. Rathfinny’s Cellar Door shop is open daily for wine tastings and shopping, while the estate also offers seasonal vineyard tours and tastings all year round.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.