Vineyard Blog

Visiting the producers of IEWA gold and silver medal winning wines

IEWA Medal Winners 2017 – Which ones to visit?

There are many ways to choose which vineyard to visit. Often it will be based largely on proximity and all you need is our vineyard map to find the vineyard closest to where you’re planning to be and with the facilities you are looking for. Sometimes, though, it’s all about the wine and if you’re planning a trip with fewer time constraints, you can find the source of your favourite wine, or take a look at awards.

There are plenty of awards schemes around to guide you – one of the newest is the Independent English Wine Awards. As they are gearing up to this year’s judging, we look at the vineyards that gave rise to Gold and Silver award winners from last year from a visitor’s view.

Just Pop in During Opening Hours

Alder Ridge (Berkshire)

As farm shops go, you would struggle to beat Cobbs, which acts as a cellar door for Alder Ridge and includes a restaurant where you can enjoy English wine by the glass with your lunch. The vineyard itself is only open for events.

Alder Vineyard (Devon)

Pre-booked tours are available all year round. The shop is open most Fridays and also some Thursdays and Saturdays depending on the season.

Carr Taylor (Sussex)

Carr Taylor is well-established as a visitor-friendly vineyard with a vineyard trail, café, farm shop and more. They are open 7 days a week.

Clayhill Vineyard (Essex)

A brand new tasting room and café is open at weekends and has great views over the vineyard to the river beyond. Worth a trip for the cakes alone!

Giffords Hall (Suffolk)

There is a charming cellar door and gift shop open most of the year and a café too in the summer. Cellar door sales can usually be organised from the adjacent office when the shop is closed.

Halfpenny Green (Staffordshire)

The vineyard visitor is well-catered for with a clearly labelled trail and a tasting room with glass wall on to the winery. There is also a café and extensive farm shop which doubles as a cellar door. Various other craft and retail businesses occupy the same site.

Hush Heath (Kent)

There’s a vineyard trail which gives a very pleasant guided route around the vineyards and orchards. Then head back to the tasting room (also with glass window onto the winery) to taste a few of the wines. Alternatively you can book a tour of the winery.

Lyme Bay (Dorset)

There’s no access to the vineyard, but a great cellar door shop that’s well worth popping into if you’re in the area. Lyme Regis is not far away and has a selection of charming restaurants (many serving local wines) and there are plenty of other vineyards in the area well worth a visit.

Raimes Sparkling (Hampshire)

A great achievement to win a silver IEWA medal for the first vintage from this new producer. As you would expect, visitor facilities are growing as the wine availablity develops. There is a cellar door open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to midday. Tours and tastings are available for groups of up to 6 people from May to September.

Plan Your Trip

Blackdown Ridge (Sussex)

Groups of up to 18 people are welcomed by appointment to enjoy a cheese and wine tasting. It’s a delightfully scenic spot with sheep in the vineyard and its own small winery.

Bride Valley (Dorset)

This is very much a working vineyard and there are currently no visitor facilities or cellar door sales. If you do wish to visit, contact them in advance and it may be possible to be shown around the vineyard.

Fenny Castle (Somerset)

The vineyard is open by appointment any day of the week; tours can be booked and venue hire is available. There is even a self-catering cottage and glamping.

Fox & Fox (Sussex)

Open by appointment from the 2018 season.

Hattingley Valley (Hampshire)

Book tours in advance online and you can also swing by to collect pre-orders from the office. The vineyard is a little distance from the vineyard, so you can usually choose between just a winery tour or one that includes both the vineyard and the winery. If your tour doesn’t include nibbles, pop to the Yew Tree pub for what should be an excellent lunch. The delightful small town of Alresford is also nearby.

Jenkyn Place (Hampshire)

The vineyard is generally only open by appointment, but do look out for open days each July as part of Hampshire Food Festival.

Stopham Estate (Sussex)

Tours are available most Saturdays and can be extended to include lunch by the river. There isn’t a cellar door shop, as such, but you can pre-order and collect wines by arrangement.

Tuffon Hall (Essex)

Cellar door sales available by appointment, group tours only.

Wiston Estate (Sussex)

One of the newest cellar doors to open with a new tasting room overlooking the vines. Tours must be booked in advance (they can be booked online), but we suspect opening hours will increase in 2018.

 

Not open to the public – Coldharbour, Hawkins Bros (a shop, not a vineyard), Sugrue Pierre, Westwell.

We hope that’s given you some good ideas! If there is a particular vintage that you are after, please do check with the producer before travelling.

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