English Wine: not only fizz

The Iron Age inhabitants of England imported considerable quantities of wine, but it seems likely that it was the Romans who introduced the first vineyards to the country. A few vineyards were also cultivated during the Saxon period, but it was the Norman nobles who arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066 who really led to the introduction of successful viticulture and wine-making. Domesday Book thus records more than 40 vineyards, with the area to the west of London being particularly prominent.

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Bolney Estate

They are one of the longest established English vineyards and have been making award winning English wines here at Bolney Wine Estate for over 35 years. They started with white wines but decided to focus on red wines as they saw a real potential for making quality lighter red wines similar in style to the best New Zealand Pinot Noirs. Their sparkling English wines have been particularly successful, winning gold medals as people realize their sparkling wines are as good as, and sometimes even better than, the best Champagnes, which is hardly surprising given that they follow the same traditional method as is used to produce Champagne.

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Bluebell Vineyard

Bluebell’s sparkling wines are hand-crafted using the méthode traditional. With a focus on quality, a meticulous attention to detail in the vineyard and winery and a philosophy to ‘let the fruit do the talking’ Bluebell Vineyard strives to produce wines that evoke the flavors and aromas of England. The estate has achieved over 40 national and international awards since their first release in 2007.

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Chapel Down

Chapel Down is England’s leading wine producer and one of the UK’s most exciting drinks companies.  Produced in Kent, Chapel Down offers a world-class range of sparkling and still wines, together with an award-winning range of Curious beer and cider.  With a mission to surprise and delight, Chapel Down has quickly gained support from leading chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, as well as receiving an impressive array of international awards.

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Hush Heath Estate

Hidden from the world by a giant cordon sanitaire of ancient woodland, the flavor and philosophy of their Rosés owe much to its historic setting. The fine soils, mild climate and long history of fruit growing, has made the Weald of Kent home to the finest vineyards planted in the UK in the last 50 years. The Estate comprises 400 acres of perfectly manicured vineyards, apple orchards and ancient oak woodlands rich with wildlife, flora, and fauna all of which add to the beauty and provenance of what they produce.

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Did you know you can visit Sussex and Kent Vineyards on many of Let’s Travels day tours from London?

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