Best English vineyards to visit in 2022

If you've never had the pleasure of sipping a glass of world-class wine while gazing at the bucolic landscape that produced it, start here, with our pick of the best UK vineyards to visit.

Wine bottles and glasses on table with vines in background
Published: April 7th, 2022 at 9:59 am
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English wine has come a long way since the Kent vineyard Nyetimber stunned top judges at the International Wine and Spirits Competition to become the world's best sparkling wine back in 1998. Twenty years later, vineyard production has tripled, and wineries have grown from 106 to 178. The English countryside, particularly in the south-east, is becoming peppered with bucolic hills of vines, undulating peacefully in their lush rows. It's a way out of trouble for many farmers, who have been forced to diversify from traditional farming as it becomes increasingly challenging. Alongside growing wine grapes, there are opportunities for wine tastings, with shops, hotels and wedding venues springing up as part of the package.

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This is great news for wine drinkers, opening up previously inaccessible views over rolling farmland in which to sip world-class sparkling wine with no interruptions. Whether you're looking to celebrate a special day, a classy idea for a hen night or just an idyllic spot to taste English wine in the heart of the beautiful countryside that created it, here is our pick of the best UK vineyards to visit in 2022.

Discover more about English wine in our Beginners Guide to English Wine.


Best English vineyards to visit in 2022

Chapel Down, Tenterden, Kent

Chapel Down vineyard, Kent.

Situated in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Chapel Down is in one of Kent's secret pockets of loveliness, with fantastic woodlands, rolling hills, sea breezes coming in off the coast. As well as winning a host of awards for its wines, including Gold for its Rosé Brut at the International Wine Challenge in 2011, the vineyard itself is also highly lauded, winning ‘Kent’s Best Vineyard’ in the Taste of Kent awards and Best Leisure and Tourism Business 2010 at the annual Kent Excellence in Business Awards.

Quite right, too. Chapel Down goes all out in its visitor experiences, with charted Merlin Balloon rides and private behind-the-scenes tours, tank tasting, fine dining at its restaurant The Swan, food and wine matching tutorials, VIP tours and sabrage demonstrations – all as part of its Deluxe and Bespoke gift packages. You're not far from the historic smuggler's town of Rye, as well as Great Dixter House and Gardens and the Three Legs Brewery in Brede. So it's worth booking somewhere to stay and exploring while you're here.

chapeldown.com

Terlingham Vineyard, Kent

Rows of lush green vines at Terlingham ineyard overlooking the sea
Terlingham vineyard overlooks the sea

Terlingham vineyard is unique in the south-eastern winemaking scene. Where many producers reach for the pesticide to control the aphids, Terlingham relies on its ladybugs. Where others may trap or cull the badgers that eat their best grapes, this vineyard simply leaves a few early-ripening rondos on the vine as a distraction from the vines that are worth more. It's an organic, biodiverse vineyard that is leading the way in sustainability, eschewing foil packaging on its sparkling wines for simple paper tabs, and corking and caging everything by hand.

A tour here includes a gentle stroll through the vineyard – which looks out across the English channel, an introduction to the farm's natural farming methods, and a tasting with cheeseboard, bread, cake and a much-needed coffee!

terlinghamvineyard.co.uk

Camel Valley, Cornwall

Rows of lush green vines at Camel Valley vineyard in Cornwall
Camel Valley vineyard, Cornwall

There's every chance you're thinking, Cornwall? Really? But Camel Valley’s consistent awards speak for themselves, most recently the 2019 Rosé Brut, which won gold in the Forget Me Not award by Glass of Bubbly in 2021. The 2008 White Pinot Noir Brut and 2009 Pinot Noir Rose Brut are just a couple of the fantastic wines that have won and you can try on the vineyard’s Grand Tour and Tasting. Of course, you could just settle for a glass of wine or three on the terrace, which offers eulogy-inducing views over the Cornish landscape.

camelvalley.com

Langham Wine Estate, Dorset

Rows of grapevines at Langham wine estate with misty hills in background
Langham wine estate

Tucked away amid the rolling hills of Dorset, Langham Wine Estate is the largest single vineyard in South-West England. You can get to know it on a two-hour guided tour and tasting, with the option of adding on a lunch picnic and glass of fizz for an extra £20. The three wines you'll be tasting are all award-winning, and you'll be enjoying them in a 19th century milking parlour with views of the vineyard and winery. As the outdoor space is so copious, dogs are welcome on these tours, too.

langhamwine.co.uk/

Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire

Vineyard
Grapes growing on grapevines for British wine production at The Three Choirs Vineyard, Newent, Gloucestershire./Credit: Tim Graham/Getty
Three Choirs Vineyard is an idyllic place to visit or stay, with lots of things to do. The vineyard tours are combined with a nature trail with hedgehog and ladybird nesting boxes, ponds with fish and waterfowl, owls, rabbits, badgers and more. You can dine at the Vineyard Restaurant and The Vine Room, take cookery courses, 'adopt a vine' or stay on site in one of the luxurious boutique-styled lodge rooms. And then there's the wine, with its Classic Cuvée winning Gold at the Sommelier Wine Awards in 2018, as did its Coleridge Hill white wine.

Denbies Vineyard, Surrey

Vineyard
View over autumn vines at Denbies Vineyard, near Dorking, Surrey./Credit: Getty
First established in the 1980s, Denbies – now one of the biggest names in English wine – is the UK’s largest vineyard and the soil in its area has been considered perfect for growing grapes since the Romans lived there. Tours feature a surround-vision cinematic experience, tours of the indoor winery and a train that takes you around the estate as well as a running commentary from your guide. There are year-round events listings and the site has two fine-dining restaurants.

Flint vineyard, Norfolk

Tour guide giving a talk in front of rows of vines at Flint Vineyard in Norfolk
Flint vineyard, Norfolk

East Anglia has one of the UK's driest climates, along with the south-east, so it's a great spot to grow wine grapes – as Flint vineyard has proven. With a varied range of sparkling and still wines, this winery has achieved great results through the passion and creativity of chief winemaker Ben Witchell, who founded Flint in 2015. A tour here involves a walk through the vineyard and winery, introduction to the processes of winemaking, and unusually, a full tasting of its current selection – all while taking in views of the Waveney Valley. Naturally, you can add on lunch.

flintvineyard.com/

Little Wold Vineyard, Yorkshire Wolds

Little Wold vineyard in the Yorkshire Wolds with wooden building overlooking rows of vines
Little Wold vineyard Yorkshire

Little Wold Vineyard is perched on the side of a hill at the south-eastern corner of the tranquil Yorkshire Wolds. It began life as a beef farm in 1947, travelled through pig and poultry farming and eventually diversified into winemaking in 2012. A family business, the glass-fronted tasting room was built in 2019, and with it came a wine shop and the chance to offer bespoke marquee weddings. It's an enviable place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine – and a friendly chat with one of the family members serving you – while looking out at the lovely rolling countryside.

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littlewoldvineyard.co.uk

Authors

Carys MatthewsGroup Digital Editor

Carys is the Group Digital Editor of countryfile.com and discoverwildlife.com. Carys can often be found trail running, bike-packing, wild swimming or hiking in the British countryside.

Tanya Jackson in red checked shirt and rucksack standing by a wall with a big smile
Tanya Jacksonacting group digital editor

Tanya Jackson is the acting group digital editor of countryfile.com and discoverwildlife.com. Her parents had a pet shop when she was growing up, so she learnt very young how intelligent rats are and why you don’t stick your hands near the beak of a cockatoo. She loves camping, hiking and watching the red kites soar over the Wiltshire hills.

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