The mention of English wine may raise a few eyebrows, but the wines from this region are winning many awards and sceptics over and a visit to a local vineyard will show you why.
East Sussex & Kent’s sunny and dry climate along with its similar subsoil to the Champagne region of France means that our vineyards can produce sparkling wines that are often beating their french counterparts.
Whilst the history of winemaking in Kent & East Sussex goes back to Roman times, it is in recent years that English wines are gaining a reputation internationally as being amongst some of the best in the world. English wines have repeatedly surprised experts in blind tastings, and in 2010, it was an English bubbly that was voted the best in the world, beating the world’s top champagne makers.
The English wine list is expanding too, and, in addition to the white wine, for which this country has traditionally been known, some 10 per cent of wine production is red. Rosé too is increasing in popularity too, whilst it is the sparkly stuff that is becoming England’s signature wine.
When William and Kate tied the knot, it was fizz from Chapel Down in England that was served at the banquet tables rather than champagne from across the Channel.
These counties are well known for their stunning beaches, rolling countryside, and are home to some of the best English vineyards in the country.
So during your stay at White Sand, why not pay a visit to one of the many vineyards in the area who are happy for you to come and spit, slurp and swill the fruits of their labour.
Wine played a great part in the fortunes of some of the port towns. Winchelsea owed much of it’s wealth to the wine trade it had with Gascony and you can visit many of the medieval wine cellars on one of the guided tours.
Another great destination on our wine tasting tour is a visit to Olde Worlde Wines in Rye where you sample the recommended “wine of the day”, explore the candlelit cellar – a unique opportunity to taste and to buy award winning wines.
If you prefer your tipple to be organic then visit England’s oldest organic vineyard in Sedlescombe.
is an independent family run business, established in 1979, which is now England’s leading producer of organic/biodynamic wines. Located within the High Weald designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in the heart of 1066 Country.
Grab a map from the shop and take the self-guided trail of discovery through magical ancient woodland, an evergreen conifer forest and three beautiful organic vineyards overlooking the stunning countryside.
You will find out about Biodynamic wines, visit the boutique Winery and round off your visit with a tasting of award winning English Whites, Rose, Reds and Sparkling wines at the barn tasting bar.
The Carr Taylor Vineyard
is planted on the gentle slopes of the Sussex Weald, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Carr Taylor Vineyards offer visitors an enchanting vineyard and wine experience and are dedicated to providing a memorable visit!
When the Queen and her guests step on board the Royal Barge, the Spirit of Chartwell for the Queens Jubilee it will be the award winning wines of our local vineyard, Chapel Down that will be served.
Chapel Down Winery
has been quietly clocking up the awards for its grand selection of premier wines, which are all made, tasted and sold from its vineyards in Tenterden, Kent.
Maps and trails around the vineyards are provided for those who want to take a wander (the Old Herb Garden is particularly worth a look), and of course it’s only polite to taste the goods before you buy.
So after separating the still from the sparkling on a guided winery tour, see the shop staff for a taster of some Premier Chapel Down Brut. With all this award winning wine around and a restaurant, The Swan, to enjoy it in, you might as well make an evening of it.
If you haven’t sampled English wines before, then on your holiday Beside The Sea is a good time to do so. There are our recommended vineyards all of which welcome visitors for guided tours and tastings.