The UK is now one of the world’s fastest growing wine regions: 5 vineyards to go tasting at

29th May 19 | Lifestyle

More vineyards are opening their cellar doors and wine festivals popping up across the country, says Sam Wylie-Harris.


Could Sussex be the next Sancerre or Hampshire the next Hunter Valley? If the excitement around the UK wine industry is anything to go by, with British wine the current buzz-word, then yes.

According to latest figures, the UK is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the world. A record number of three million vines were planted this year in counties such as Norfolk, Essex, Northampton and Suffolk, according to Wine of Great Britain (Wine GB), and it really is boom time for UK vineyards with a surge in wine tourism.

Here’s where to go for a scenic sipping adventure in the beautiful British countryside…

1. Camel Valley, Cornwall

A real Cornish corker, Camel Valley turn out tip top sparkling wines with two tours to choose from: a grand tour and tasting (£18 pp) and a guided tour (£9.50 pp). But if vineyard tours aren’t for you, sip fizz on their sun-drenched  terrace with wonderful views of the vines, or book an overnight stay in one of their two cottages.

2.  Ridgeview Wine Estate, Sussex

Ridgeview took home a gold medal for their Blanc de Blancs 2014 at this year’s International Wine Challenge (IWC) and their cellar door is open daily with complimentary tastings and beautiful views of the Sussex countryside. Buy tickets for RIDGEFEST (August 24, from £30 per adult) and you can wash down street food with fantastic fizz. There’s also a cocktail lounge, DJ and silent disco.

3. Three Choirs Vineyards, Gloucestershire

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It's English Wine Week! I'm celebrating with a delicious bottle of Three Choirs Classic Cuvée. 🍾 I love this English Sparkling Wine. It's made using the traditional method (the same way a Champagne is made). Yeast and sugars are added and as the yeasts eat the sugar, co2 is formed. This produces the tiny bubbles, known as the 'mousse' when poured into the glass 🥂 Look out for delicious brioche notes 🥐 as well as the classic fruity flavours of this delightful drink. What's everyone else drinking this week? 👇Cheers! #englishwineweek #englishwine #threechoirs #threechoirsvineyard #sparklingwine #englishsparkling #bankholidayweekend #bubbly #wineweekend #lovewine #bankholidaymonday #weekendwine #winenot

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Head to glorious ‘Glosters’ and you can nestle among the vines in a wooden framed lodge with magnificent views of the valley. Otherwise, their ‘grape-to-glass’ experience starts from £12.50 pp. Complete the visit with brunch in The Brasserie, settle down for a Sunday roast or save yourself for dinner.

4. Exton Park Vineyard, Hampshire

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We’re kicking off 2019 with the exciting news that @extonparkvineyard will be hosting the @vineyardsofhampshire FIZZ FEST for the first time this summer! • #FizzFest2019 is the annual Vineyards of Hampshire Wine Festival. This year it will be held on Sunday 21st July 2019 from 12pm to 4.30pm in Exton, Hampshire. • Early bird tickets are now available via Eventbrite – Search ‘Fizz Fest’ or get the link from our website: • • • #FizzFest #fizzfest #FizzFest2019 #winefestival #winefestival2019 #festival #festival2019 #hampshirefestival #vineyardsofhampshire #extonparkvineyard #winetasting #summerfestival #winetour #hampshirewine #englishwine #englishwinetour #summerevents #southdowns #wineevent Photo credit: @theelectriceyephotography

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Award-winning Exton Park (their trophy cupboard has a nice stash of medals) are hosting this year’s FIZZ FEST (July 21, from £15 per adult), Hampshire’s seventh annual wine festival with live music, a fizz bar, tractor rides and wine workshops.  And while Exton isn’t open to the public, FIZZ FEST draws seven other leading Hampshire wineries so it’s a terrific day out to rub shoulders with the winemakers.

5.  Hush Heath Estate & Winery, Kent

Hush Heath are totally geared to wine tourism with their open weekends, tours and tastings and wine club with member benefits, such as being able to wield a pair of secateurs and take part in their annual grape harvest. They also own a couple of local pubs if you fancy a minibreak in Kent. Check out The Goudhurst Inn and The Tickled Trout which have a small number of rooms.

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