Mother’s Day Treat: Visit England’s Finest Vineyards

To treat your mother this Mother’s Day, the gift of wine is the holy grail of Mother’s Day presents. Guaranteed never to disappoint, we have some real crackers in the gift section of our website if you need any pointers.

BUT – what to do if you want to go the extra mile for your mother this year? Following the plethora of gold medals that rained down on England’s vineyards at the 2014 International Wine Challenge, there is now no longer any need to cross The Channel to tour top quality vineyards: there is quite the selection here in the UK. So, why not treat your Mum (and yourself!) to a trip to the country, take a tour around a UK vineyard and taste some exceptionally good quality, local wines.
 Image from Chapel Down Winery
Although most tours of UK vineyards don’t start until April, you can pre-book now, so get a date in the diary for when the weather is fairer and spoil your long-suffering mother. Some vineyards offer accommodation too for those seeking a wine-focused, relaxing weekend away…

“Good soil, good grapes & good producers – no wonder the French are a little worried about the progress of English wines”
The Guardian
Biddenden Vineyards, Kent
Kent’s oldest vineyard, Biddenden, was founded by the Barnes family in 1969. The vineyards are nestled away in the beautiful Kentish countryside, just over a mile from the village of Biddenden. There is a coffee shop that is open daily, and on Wednesdays from June until September there are free guided tours (pre-booking is essential). Private guided tours are also available. The Vineyard Loft is self-catering accommodation attached to the main Farmhouse. It sleeps two and has beautiful views across the vineyard.
Minimum stay 2 nights from £240
 Image from Chapel DownWinery
Chapel Down Winery, Kent
England’s largest wine producer is located in the heart of the Kent countryside, close to the small market town of Tenterden. Open to visitors all year round, Chapel Down offers a number of Tour & Tasting experiences, from a standard tour of the vinery and vineyards with a tutored tasting, to packages that include a three course lunch of afternoon tea at Chapel Down’s Swan Restaurant. Visitors can also explore the grounds, including the herb garden and vineyard walks. Guided tours of the vineyard and winery run daily from April to November and cost £10.00 per adult. Fancy a taster before you go? A selection of the Chapel Down wines are available on our website.
An early pioneer, based in Tenterden in Kent, Chapel Down has an impressive range of still and sparkling wines”. Terry Kirby, The Independent
Camel Valley, Cornwall
Producing wine in Cornwall since 1989, ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie established this vineyard in the heart of the Cornish countryside; ideally situated on the hillside near the Camel River. Tours and tastings start from £8 per person and run from April to September. With a beautiful terrace overlooking the vineyard where you are encouraged to taste away, a great day can be had in this beautiful setting in Cornwall. Camel Valley vineyard also offers two cottages, recently converted, which boast stunning views over the vineyard and down the valley. A cycle-ride from the beautiful town of Padstow and a short drive away from both Cornish coasts, this is one to be booked off for a weekend trip and some restorative sea air.
Camel Valley is the most impressive estate on our shores and without doubt the number one winery in the Country.” Matthew Jukes
 Image from Chapel Down Winery
Three Choirs Vineyards, Gloucestershire
Three Choirs’ impressive array of visitor facilities include two restaurants, a shop, hotel rooms that overlook the valley offering Bed and Breakfast and lodges that are ideally located in the peace and quiet amongst the vines themselves. Established in 1976 by two farmers with just half an acre between them, the estate now encompasses 70 acres. With daily tours, wine tastings on offer and cookery classes, there are enough activities to last you well beyond a weekend, and the excellent wine and idyllic location will make you wish you were staying for longer.

CellarVie Wines also sell the award winning Gusbourne and Nyetimber wines, and although you cannot visit their vineyards, their wines are exceptional and well worth a try so treat yourself (or even better, treat your mother!) with a delicious bottle of English sparkling. Even Robert Parker, on a recent trip to England, is impressed…
Main blog image by Hardo Müller

Written by: Lucy Prosser

Lucy Prosser 


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