We don’t just distil well-loved spirits, the UK is home to some of the very best vineyards, many of which are taking the wine world by storm and winning awards-aplenty.
We challenge your taste buds not to love these top 10 vineyards...
Denbies Wine Estate Ltd, London Road, Dorking, Surry, RH5 6AA
If you’re after the royal treatment, a little trip to Denbies in Dorking, Surrey, is in order. They’ve welcomed several members of the Royal Family to the estate and are amongst the largest wine producers in the UK. A tour of the vineyard is recommended, along with tastings of their delectable red, white and sparkling wines. Al-fresco dining in the Conservatory Restaurant atrium is a must, or try the mouth-watering seasonal menus of the Gallery Restaurant, which overlooks the vineyard with views over Box Hill and the North Downs.
Cairn O’Mohr, East Inchmichael, Errol, Perthshire, PH2 7SP, Scotland
Specialising in fruity wines and punch ciders, this friendly and upbeat tour offers a free drink upon arrival. Combining local fruits and creating one-off flavours using surplus local produce, this is a fantastic visit for all the family. Children under 13 go free and, with their non-alcoholic drinks, there’s something for everyone to taste and enjoy.
From its humble beginnings with just a bottle, stick and a book back in 1987, Cairn O’Mohr now finds itself stocked at many top hotels. There are several different tours, including the suitably spooky Ghost Tour in the dark, the out of season ‘Thistle Day’ tours, or try the Deluxe Tour with working demonstrations and generous samples to boot.
Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire, Newent, GL18 1LS
Situated near the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean, the idyllic surroundings of Three Choirs have a lot to offer. The micro-climate of the hills and valleys is perfect for growing grapes, so take a tour of one of the largest and oldest vineyards in England (75 acres in fact) and learn about the production of their wines. Afterwards you can sample four different wines, or you may prefer a light lunch of locally sourced cheeses with an additional glass of your choice.
Jabajak Vineyard, Banc Y Llain, Llanboidy Road, Whitland, SA34 0ED
A different spin on a typical vineyard visit, revel in this 5-star award-winning restaurant in its own vineyard grounds alongside the Landsker Bar, which of course serves all of Jabajak’s wines. Whether it’s a meal with friends, an intimate couple’s dinner, weddings or corporate dining they have it covered. The intimate and unique setting makes this a very special experience.
Kerry Vale Vineyard, Pentreheyling, Shropshire, SY15 6HU
For a vineyard with history, family-owned Kerry Vale in Shropshire should be at the top of your list. Once part of the ancient Roman site of Pentreheyling Fort, the area dates back to the Bronze Age and excavations have uncovered artefacts including Roman pottery. Comprising 6,000 vines at a combined length of up to eight miles, there’s plenty to see, and with four tours and tastings to choose from – along with the cafe to end your day - this wonderful setting won’t disappoint.
The Chapel Down Winery, Small Hythe Road, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG
Chapel Down’s sparkling wines use the same production method as Champagne, though with fruit sourced from South East England. With customers including Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, you know they must be good. They’ve got ciders, beers and spirits too and their gift experiences bring wine and food together at the Swan Restaurant, making it even more enjoyable.
Though a tour and tasting is enough to quench some wine lovers’ thirsts, if you want to share something with the folks back home, you can lease a vine as an alternative gift. Personalised bottles of your own grapes and exclusive visits make this a great present.
Glyndwr Vineyard, Llanblethian, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan CF71 7JF
The largest and oldest established vineyard in Wales, this beautifully located family estate boasts a number of commendations and a wildlife-filled tour. See how many wild pheasants, ducks, chickens and llamas you can spot on your way round after starting your tour with a vintage glass of bubbles. Take in the view whilst being shown the vineyard process by the friendly staff, building up your appetite (and thirst!) for the freshly prepared country platter when you return.
Welsh cheeses, local sausages, salads and more, along with sampling more wine, make for a perfect day out. We’d also recommend adding the wine voucher so you can make the most of your experience and take a bottle home with you too.
Biddenden Vineyards, Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden, Kent, TN27 8DF
It’s not just about award-winning wines here, with ciders and juices also available. Beginning life as a 40-acre apple orchard, the owners turned to wine-producing in 1969. Book onto one of the private guided tours (15 people or less) for a more intimate visit around the land and winery, uncovering the interesting history as you go.
Finish up with a tasting of some of the 11 different grape varieties grown here and feast on a cheese or deli-style platter full of local ingredients before or after your tour.
Camel Valley Ltd, Nanstallon, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5LG
The popularity of the highly talked about wines of Camel Valley means getting a place on their Grand Tour is a must. Running between April and October, learn about the processes of the vineyard followed by a fun tasting session, starting with their most famous Cornwall Brut. Don’t worry about it being just an adult affair; children are very welcome, so it’s perfect for a family day out. If you’re looking for an excuse to stay longer, take a seat on the terrace and enjoy the panoramic views.
Holmfirth Vineyard, Woodhouse Lane, Holmbridge, Holmfirth, HD9 2QR
In the beautiful rolling hills of the Holme Valley, experience the panoramic views of this unspoilt area of West Yorkshire with a perfectly situated vineyard. If you’re after an educational yet enriching experience, you will learn about how the vines are cared for, all the way through to how the wines are made. A guided tasting will help identify the unique aromas of the red, white and rosé you can sample in the winery and for those with a real passion, try the wine tasting course to understand the science of wine making and discover which one you really love.