Your Guide to Visiting a Vineyard
English vineyards and wineries up and down the U.K. are creating internationally renowned and global award-winning wines in breath taking countryside settings. We love nothing more than to share our passion by welcoming guests to experience the English wine-making world. There is something to inspire each and every one in ways you might not expect.
Maybe you’re already a champion of exquisite English wine, or perhaps you’re new to this and want to learn more? A visit to a vineyard can be as relaxed as you like. From a casual drop-in tasting and a walk through the vines to an elegant meal and a tailor-made tour, you can explore a local winery at your own pace.
Perhaps you associate wine tourism with historic French Champagne houses, Australian wine regions or the thrilling valleys of New Zealand? You might be surprised to know that all of this is right on your doorstep here in the UK. Read on to discover what an English Vineyard can offer you…
REASONS TO VISIT
Set in dramatic landscapes with unforgettable vistas, English vineyards offer an unrivalled opportunity to get off the beaten track. From wine enthusiasts to new experience-seekers, seasoned connoisseurs to local explorers, they’re a place for everyone to create memorable moments with those that matter.
Classic tours, tastings and guided trails are a fantastic way to experience a vineyard but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a whole host of complementary leisure activities and events. From art exhibitions, yoga classes and craft workshops, to music festivals, chef events and concerts.
English winemaking is a beautiful synthesis of family, sustainability, craftsmanship and celebration. Whether you’re on a staycation or looking for a local hidden gem, we encourage everyone to connect with us in a way that suits you so that you can find your unique place in our diverse community.
START YOUR JOURNEY
Pop into a vineyard, take in the stunning sights and surroundings and visit the cellar door. You’ll be greeted by the friendly and knowledgeable staff who love to share their vineyard story with you.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions or feel like prior knowledge is required. In fact, sharing our passion with people who are new to this is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do.
Our foundations are based upon collaboration and community. The minute you enter a vineyard, you’ll feel a part of this too.
You can often sample before you buy – just ask the cellar door team who will be more than happy to showcase their range.
Here at Ridgeview we offer tastings for our Cellar door visitors (when Covid regulations allow) or self-guided tasting flights in our Ridgeview Wine Garden because we love nothing more than sharing our world-class wine with both new and lifelong guests.
Alongside the vineyard’s unique range of wine, you can browse an exciting selection of bespoke products, experiences and heartfelt gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. We love to partner with local, artisan producers to offer exclusive items ranging from wine-infused chocolates, culinary delights and cocktail sets to spa accessories and homeware.
TOURS AND TASTINGS
Fully-immerse yourself with a tour and tasting experience, perfect for an effortless day-out full of discovery. Get behind-the-scenes access to the delicate craft of wine-making and viticulture to be enjoyed at your leisure.
If you’ve been on a wine tour before, you’ll know it’s a relaxing yet invigorating journey and is doesn’t end there. Each winery is unique, every wine is distinctive and no two vineyards are the same.
There’s no better way to savour a wine than right at the heart of where it is made and the more vineyards you visit, the more your eyes will open to the beauty of English winemaking.
There are so many options for you to choose from for you to create a flexible personalised day-out.
Wine Cellar Door have a great directory to search for vineyard and winery tours to book directly or why not try something imaginative like a Sparkling Sussex Cycling Tour with a stay at one of the exceptional Historic Sussex Hotels.
WHEN TO VISIT
Vineyards and Wineries are a hive of activity all-year round. No two days are the same and all four seasons bring new delights and challenges. Whilst the summer months are full of flowering vines and blue skies, there is so much more to experience throughout the year.
Watch the vines come to life from budburst. See the processes that vineyards are using to protect vulnerable young growth from the risk of frost.
If you are lucky, you may even see beautiful bluebells in the woods surrounding the vineyards – just like here at Ridgeview.
Green foliage develops in the Vineyard as vines begin their growth, you can almost watch them grow before your eyes. Flowers appear in July which are the beginnings of the grape bunches.
These berries will change colour and ripen in August/September in preparation for harvest.
A gorgeous time to visit the vineyards as the leaves on the vines slowly change into beautiful autumnal colours. Once the Vineyard Manager and Winemaker are happy with the quality of the year’s grapes, harvest will begin. All grapes at Ridgeview are picked by hand, normally in late September or October. Look out for wineries offering harvest experience days when you might get the chance to pick the grapes yourself! A visit after harvest is a unique opportunity to check in with the Winemakers to hear about the results of the years vintage.
This is time for the vines to rest after their hard work and they take on a wonderfully stark and atmospheric beauty. Bright and crisp winter weather brings a vineyard atmosphere like no other full of festive allure. Tour visitors will enjoy unique behind-the-scenes access to the winery and cellars for a warm, cosy and enlightening visit. The vineyard shop will be bursting with celebration gifts and winery hospitality spaces are a throng of festive events and Christmas parties.
Wine Estates offer an array of enticing hospitality experiences for both modern, casual diners and discerning foodies alike. Vineyard dining options are endless but you can be sure that the focus is always on top-quality, seasonal ingredients packed full of flavour.
Vineyards are known for platters and hampers bursting with locally-sourced produce, perfect for a picnic amongst the vines. It’s an ideal atmosphere to meet with friends and family for a relaxed get-together over a sumptuous selection of contemporary dishes and artisan boards.
Or maybe you’re looking for something more celebratory and special? Options abound from luxurious fine-dining restaurants and private events to pop-up chef events and wine pairing evenings.
Here in Sussex, our Ridgeview Wine Garden offers artisanal small plates and sharing boards. It’s the ideal spot to dine with friends and family accompanied by a chilled glass of Ridgeview wine.
If you’re looking for a stylish staycation, a relaxing weekend break or a restorative escape to the country you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Wine GB’s directory is a great way to search for accommodation amongst the vines. Or read this article full of inspiration on arranging a vineyard mini break to suit all tastes and budgets. Visit Britain is a brilliant resource to plan an itinerary full of exciting local attractions. Or check out Sussex Modern for inspiration on creative places to be explored and enjoyed here in the South East. Sussex Food and Drink showcases all the local wine producers to visit along with food and farm shops for seasonal and sustainable purchases during your stay.
For a luxurious affair, Exclusive Collection offer unique getaways with their exquisite portfolio of hotels and spas. From well-being retreats to golfing breaks, there’s a wealth of experiences to discover.
Ridgeview has a fantastic relationship with local hotels and tourism providers with whom we share a love of the beauty and vibrancy of Sussex. Click here for Ridgeview’s accommodation recommendations or create your own unique stay with help from the following websites:
Get social and follow @RidgeviewWineUK on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as @RidgeviewWineGarden to see what special events are hosting. You can also stay in touch by signing up to the Ridgeview newsletter. We have got lots of exciting Summer plans and beyond for you to come and celebrate here with us.
Visiting a vineyard is an uplifting and joyful experience offering everyone the opportunity to connect, reset, explore and relax. However you choose to visit, you can be sure you’ll be met with a warm welcome, and leave with long-lasting memories of the time spent together.