Vineyard Blog

It's never been easier to visit an English or Welsh Vineyard

Ever since we started visiting vineyards, we’ve been looking out for good quality visitor-friendly information. Finding nothing that quite met our needs, I built www.WineCellarDoor.co.uk to show all the UK vineyards with a “cellar door” where people could buy wine directly from the producer – hopefully this term will soon become as common as “farm gate” sales for other agricultural produce.

WCD3 - Detail Page Bolney Estate

Detail page for a vineyard

It started with the first things I thought people would want to know, like whether a vineyard was open all year or not, whether it had a café or restaurant, the availability of tours and of course the type of shop – some just sell their own wine and some are whole gift shops or wine merchants with a wider range than just their own. I’ve enjoyed making WineCellarDoor and watching it grow, with better photos, TripAdvisor ratings and more information when either Ian or I get to visit personally.

As soon as we had the basics in place, the lack of maps was the big gap. While this was always in the long term plan, entering the website into a competition (I’m a bit superstitious about saying more at this stage…) gave us a reason to bring it forward. A great piece of work by our developer means that we now have maps both on the page for an individual vineyard and for all vineyards.

So if you look up Sharpham in Devon, for example, then as well as all of the other information to help your visit, you will also find a little map with a pink dot showing exactly where it is. For those of you interested in the technical details – the pin is based on geocodes, which although that takes a bit more effort, does give much more accuracy than postcodes.

Sharpham Estate Map

Map showing location of Sharpham Estate

Now it’s easy to see whether that’s convenient for you to visit, but what about other vineyards? Is there anywhere else that fits in to your trip? Under the individual map, there’s a link to a full map (which you can also access from the main menu bar).

Full Map with Sharpham

Map showing vineyards around Sharpham

Here each pink dot represents a visitor-friendly vineyard, hover over the dot to see the name and click the link to go to the detail page for that vineyard.

With more than 150 vineyards on the site now, pretty much anywhere you go will take you close to one. Of course we make special trips to visit producers, but we also check out what’s on the way to anywhere we might be going. For instance, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Bristol recently and have already managed to visit Aldwick Court, Oatley Vineyard and Leigh Park Hotel & Vineyard and you might remember Ian squeezing a trip to Eglantine around the arrival of a new nephew. We hope the map helps you to have as much fun as we do.

For those of you kind of notice that there haven’t been too many blog posts lately, we have been busy with this development and with harvest days – we managed 7 between us! Rest assured, though, that we have piles of notes and we’ll be sharing our experiences very shortly.

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