English Wine Week, from 19-27 June 2021, shines a light on England’s wonderful wines and its innovative producers; just as flowering starts in the vineyards and summer begins. With over 500 English wineries collectively making around 5million bottles each year, the opportunities to enjoy English wine and a visit to a local vineyard have never been more exciting.
Herefordshire, well known for its cider making credentials, is now becoming recognised for its wines too. For those visiting this green and delicious county on a staycation this year Visit Herefordshire is encouraging guests to include a winery experience. Here are a few of their top tips:
Winery Sleepover at Wythall Estate
Wythall Estate, near the market town of Ross-on-Wye, is set in one of the finest agricultural growing areas in England and makes award winning wines. Sleeping over at the vineyard makes for a very special experience, especially when combined with a guided tour of the winery and a tutored tasting in the sixteenth century Manor house (available from Feb-Dec). The house is set in gorgeous gardens with a freshwater lake and wooded grounds surrounding the vines. The two separate self-contained cottages are in the west wing of the Manor house, with The Game Larders sleeping two and The Old Bakehouse sleeping four. Dogs are welcome at both. A one night stay in the Game Larders costs from £99, and a one night stay in The Bakehouse costs from £146 (both bookable on Airbnb).
Those not staying over are invited to join vineyard tours and tastings which take place on certain Saturdays throughout the year and cost £20 per person. Pre-booking required. For further information visit www.wythallestate.co.uk.
Upgrade your stay at Coddington Vineyard with a wine tasting tour and lunch
Coddington Vineyard, just four miles from the market town of Ledbury is an ideal base from which to explore Herefordshire’s unique charms. A family affair, Peter and Sharon Maiden produce a boutique selection of wines; and rent out two different self- catering properties.
At the point of booking guests can upgrade their stay with a garden wine tasting experience (only available on a Saturday) priced at £60 per couple. The experience includes a two hour tasting of three of Coddington’s wines, and then a bottle of wine to enjoy over a light lunch. A vineyard tour can also be added on at the point of booking priced at £15 per person.
Coddington’s collection of single variety wines, along with a variety of delicious local produce, can be purchased from their shop in the old apple press house, and their award winning Bacchus and sparkling Pinot Gris are particularly popular.
The Grade II listed Hop Cottage sleeps four and Vine Lodge (which is right on the edge of the vineyard itself) sleeps two. The eco friendly design of Vine Lodge doesn’t compromise on luxury and guests staying here will love relaxing on the terrace surrounded by vines overlooking the Black Mountains enjoying a bottle of Coddington wine, which is included in the welcome pack.
Vine Lodge is available for two-night weekends from £320. Stays for three or more nights are charged at £160 per night. Weekly rate is £1050. Hop Cottage is available for two-night weekends from £320 and the weekly rate is £875.
For more information visit www.coddingtonvineyard.co.uk
Take a Wine Tour at Foxbury Fields
Foxbury Fields Vineyard, at the foot of the Malvern Hills in Bromsberrow, produces small batch Bacchus and Ortega wines from grapes grown in their own unique micro-climate. Owners Heather Williamson and Richard Baker are now opening up the vineyard for tours and tastings giving guests the chance to try their classic vintage English Bacchus and their delightfully perfumed Ortega at the winery. Their first tour and tasting event is on 19th June to mark the start of English Wine Week and additional dates throughout the summer will be added to the website shortly. Bookings can be made by calling Heather on 07974793367 or emailing [email protected] The event on 19th June is free of charge and will last around 90 minutes – two hours. For more information visit www.foxburyfields.co.uk
Tours, Tastings & Vineyard Shopping at Frome Valley
Standing on the banks of the River Frome at Paunton, near Bishops Frome on the Herefordshire/ Worcestershire border, Frome Valley Vineyard is surrounded by orchards, hop yards and rolling meadows. For their still and sparkling wines they grow Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Reichensteiner, Madeleine Angevine, and Huxelrebe varieties – all well suited to their gentle, southern facing slope and the long growing season needed to ripen. The on-site shop sells their wines, cider and brandy and they are open to visitors for tours and tastings. Please check the website www.fromevalleyvineyard.co.uk for details or call owner Jeanie Falconer on 01885 490768.
A Sparkling Welcome at Black Mountain Vineyard
Black Mountain Vineyard set in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside produces three distinct sparkling wines all grown and bottled on site – a sparkling white, a sparkling rose and a Col Fondo. Mark and Laura Smith planted the vineyard in 2009 with a wealth of knowledge from working harvests in France, studying viticulture and oenology and working with a local organic producer. They’re very happy for people to make an arrangement to visit for a show-round – ideal for those staying in the Golden Valley area of Herefordshire, against the backdrop of the Black Mountains and near to the literary hub of Hay-on-Wye. For more information and the email contact form visit www.blackmountainvineyard.co.uk
Enjoy a Taste of Herefordshire at Home with Castle Brook
Castle Brook Vineyard is run by the Chinn family, who are best known for producing Wye Valley Asparagus. They planted the Castle Brook vines in 2004 on the site of an ancient Roman vineyard in the shadow of the Black Mountains and now grow 21 different clones of the three traditional Champagne grape varieties – Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay – on three different rootstocks which has created really exciting blends.
Their range of three sparkling wines (Classic Cuvée, Rosé, Blanc de Blancs) are all traditional method, bottle fermented Brut (dry) wines each with their own unique style, and available to order online providing a taste of Herefordshire wherever you are in the UK. The Castle Brook name is derived from the farmhouse that sits at the bottom of the vineyard – an ancient building that was mentioned in the 1086 Domesday book as a coaching inn which is named after the ruins of Penyard Castle which overlooks the valley and the Coughton Brook which runs through it. The Black Mountains region makes a perfect base from which to explore Herefordshire’s rural and historic wonders and Visit Herefordshire looks forward to welcoming guests this summer.
For more information on holidaying in Herefordshire this year visit www.visitherefordshire.co.uk