Put Some Fizz in Your Christmas – 10 Best Wine Gifts & Vineyard Experiences
So here it is, our selection of wine gifts from around England & Wales. You may have already popped round to your local cellar door (and we do hope you have!) but if you fancy trying something different or having a nice gift delivered, here are some of our top ideas
There’s always most fuss about our sparkling wines, but a few still wines are gaining credibility. The main English variety to look out for is Bacchus, which is appearing on a few wine lists and there are a few others out there, too. If I were choosing a gift, I’d probably go for a Bacchus, a Pinot Gris and a Pinot Blanc from Simon Woodhead at Stopham Vineyard. Total cost £51.50, including delivery.
As a great chef needs quality ingredients, so a winemaker needs carefully cultivated grapes. If you know someone who would like to know more about vine growing, then how about renting them their own vine? The Adopt-a-Vine Package at Hanwell Wine Estate in Leicestershire (£60) includes your choice of vine, a gift message, a tour & tasting for 2 and discounts on other activities at the vineyard.
So many vineyards welcome volunteers and several are actually registered charities, one such is Warden Abbey Vineyard in Bedfordshire, which is a great community project. They have a range of modestly priced gifts, including gift Membership Subscriptions (£20), the opportunity to Donate a Vine in the name of someone special (£10) as well as Tour Vouchers.
Generic vouchers can be a bit dull and something of a cop-out, but there’s no copping out with Polgoon’s Surf & Taste Voucher (£50), which entitles the lucky recipient to a surfing lesson followed by a wine and food tasting at Polgoon Vineyard just outside Penzance. As a way to stop thinking about the cold weather and look forward to summer, it’s hard to beat.
If you are ordering a gift online, you really want it to arrive at its destination looking beautiful – the double wine gift boxes from Langham Estate certainly fit the bill. Select two bottles of fizz from their range (£24 – £31) and it’s just £5.50 for the smart wooden gift box, plus £8 delivery.
Looking for something a bit larger, or perhaps you are bringing the wine for Christmas Day while someone else cooks the turkey? The Winemaker’s Choice Mixed Case (£204) from Dorset’s Furleigh Estate contains 8 bottles of still wine and 4 bottles of sparkling wine.
As our recent post on fizz for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding showed, there really is a local wine for everyone. If someone on your gift list is from Wales, or has a soft spot for the country, we would recommend the Pefriog and Flute Gift from Gwinllan Conwy. You get one bottle of their sparkling wine, which has an IWC Silver medal, no less, together with 2 flutes in a smart gift box. It costs £40 plus £9.95 delivery or is free to collect from the vineyard.
As one of the country’s most established and largest vineyards, lots of people have visited Denbies Wine Estate just outside Dorking. They are open all year and there is lots going on. The Denbies Gift Experience (£115 including postage) would make a very nice present. It includes a two course meal for two with wine in their restaurant overlooking the vineyard, as well as their ultimate indoor tour and outdoor vineyard train tour.
Bluebell Vineyard Estate has a nice website with a good selection of gifts and tours, with 10% off tours & tastings for Wine Cellar Door readers (just use code WCD2017). The Cheese and Wine Tour (£22.50 per person) including a tour of the winery and a relaxed introduction to cheese and wine pairing is the one I would go for. Recipients can also enjoy the vineyard trail on the same day, which is open to all visitors at no charge.
Our final choice is not from a visitor-friendly vineyard, but Dermot Sugrue, who makes wine at Wiston Estate and also for other respected brands including Jenkyn Place has his own boutique label, Sugrue Pierre, which is a bit of an industry insiders’ secret. With the latest release, his Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan recently having been listed as Best Gift in a national newspaper fizz review, it seems a great one to include for an extra special gift; the price of £79 includes stunning gift box and delivery.
So there you have it. As ever, so hard to pick a few, but I hope you find something to tickle your fancy here. If you’d like to pop to your local vineyard, they will be delighted to see you – just go to our directory or map to find yours. There are also lots of events in the run-up to Christmas where you can get to try before you buy. If you make a great discovery, why not tell us all about it on Facebook or Twitter?
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