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Kent vineyards to support in English Wine Week

Kent wine sits up there with the very best - and what better time to celebrate it than in English Wine Week? Top up your glass - and try our recommended standout sips - from one of these local vineyards.

As we’re lucky enough to live in the Wine Garden of England it would be rude not to support local and celebrate English Wine Week (Sat 18 – Sun 26 June 2022) by buying a bottle (or two) of the best in Kent. Share with friends! Or not, we won’t judge.

Balfour Winery, Staplehurst

What? Family-run wine estate, Balfour Winery is set within 400 acres of Kent countryside. From expert-led winery tours and guided wine tastings; to stunning vineyard walks and nature trails within ancient oak woodland, it’s the perfect day out! Don’t forget to grab a table within their impressive, state-of-the-art winery and tasting room ‘The View’.

Where? Down the A21, past Royal Tunbridge Wells and continue down the country back roads towards Staplehurst.

How do I try? You can buy direct from the vineyard themselves or from their website.

Stand out sip: One of England’s most recognisable wines and their flagship, Balfour Brut Rosé 2018, is one you have to try! It’s a single-vineyard wine from the Estate’s oldest vineyard, Oast House Meadow. Expect more cranberry than strawberry with notes of burnt orange with a wonderful herbaceous note on the finish.

Gusbourne, Ashford

What? Did you know that the original Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, near Ashford, dates back to 1410? The de Goosebourne family crest was made up of three geese and even now, every bottle of wine crafted at Gusbourne carries the same goose crest. Explore the estate yourself on one of their tours or enjoy a day dining between the vines and have one of their picnics for two.

Where? Located on a hill at Appledore, just 15 miles from the must-visit medieval coastal town of Rye just over the border in East Sussex.

How do I try? Pick up a bottle from The Secret Cellar, Mayfield Fine Wines or Murcatto Wines. Or ask for a glass (or bottle!) when you dine in one of these restaurants: Kentish Hare, The Small Holding and Hattons.

Stand out sip You can’t go wrong with the Blanc de Noirs 2018, made using hand-selected Chardonnay, it’s elegant and fresh.

Biddenden Vineyards, Biddenden

What? Kent’s original vineyard, producing award-winning wines, ciders & juices. Originally home to a 40-acre apple orchard, the Barnes family started to diversify the farm in the late 1960’s and so Biddenden Vineyards was born! They run Private Tours and Self-Guided Tours (May – Sept) and the Vineyard Shop is open year-round so there’s no excuse not to visit.

Where? You’ll find them just outside the pretty village of Biddenden on Gribble Bridge Lane.

How do I try? You can buy direct from the cellar door at Biddenden, where their full range of wines, ciders & juices are available, or online via their website.

Stand out sip: We’d recommend picking up a limited edition 150mcl Magnum of Gribble Bridge Rosé 2021. A full, well-balanced medium-dry rosé which is refreshingly full of flavour, fresh & crisp. Ideal for a summer BBQ or picnic, and will work well with lightly spiced dishes.

Woolton Wine, Canterbury

What? Woolton Farm in Canterbury is a right rural hidden gem… Visit for its wonderful cider and award-winning wines, eat local produce while you sip and then stay in one of three holiday cottages or book a bell tent in The Barn Garden. There’s a shop, vineyard and cider garden to stroll around, tours and tastings. Then there’s the rustic restaurant, The Barn, which serves the very best local produce plus a brilliant selection of accommodation so you could even make a weekend of it.

Where? Located just outside the historic city of Canterbury and a short drive to Whitstable (20 min), Margate (30 min) and the coastal towns of East Kent.

How do I try? You can buy direct from the vineyard themselves or from their website.

Stand out sip: Woolton Cuvée No1 2015 won a gold medal at the WineGB Awards. It boasts a fine balance of apple and red fruits, evolved nut and brioche with a smooth, harmonious feel. All of which makes it the perfect wine to partner the most special occasions, finest food and best company – especially in the summer months.

Woodchurch, Woodchurch

What? Award-winning Woodchurch produces the highest quality grapes and the finest English sparkling wine. The vineyard shop is open on weekends from 11am until 5pm.

Where? On the edge of the picturesque village of Woodchurch. Set on hills looking south over the Romney Marsh to the English Channel.

How do I try? Buy from their website online.

Stand out stip: They are offering a special wine tasting experience in celebration of English Wine Week. So have the chance to taste the first 2 vintages of their award-winning Sparkling Chardonnay alongside their current release. This special wine flight is available on Thurs 23, Fri 24, Sat 25 and Sun 26 June. Why not hang around for some strawberries with cream afterwards?

Terlingham Vineyard, Folkestone

What? Terlingham Vineyard is a boutique, natural vineyard making unique, award-winning wines – and now a gin too! They don’t use any artificial pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides and encourage the natural wild grasses and flowers that grow amongst the vines. They do everything in the vineyard by hand with traditional processes.

Where? Nestled in the heart of the Garden of England of Hawkinge near Folkestone.

How do I try? Their lovely selection of both still and sparkling wines are all available from their website. 

Stand out sip: You’ll want to try their vegan-friendly 2019 Sparkling Pink made from a noble Champagne blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. This sparkling wine won a Silver Award at the 2022 IEWA’s and is a beautiful rose petal pink in colour with a hint of cassis on the nose. Expect an explosion of red berry fruit on the palate is combined with soft biscuit notes and a tangy finish. 

Simpsons, Barham

What? Nestled in the sunny, sheltered slips of the North Downs of Kent, you’ll find Simpsons Wine Estate. Charles and Ruth Simpson began their adventures in winemaking in 2002, at the stunning Domaine Sainte Rose in the Languedoc, France. They established Simpsons’ Wine Estate on the other side of the Channel in 2012 and are going from strength to strength in their production of high-quality English still and sparkling wines.

Pop along to one of their Vineyard and Winery Tours or try a Tasting Experience. Here at Muddy we love the sound of their Sunset Sessions, where you can spend a hazy summer evening on the Estate with a beautifully prepared picnic provided by Macknade filled with delicious local produce.

Where? In the picturesque village of Barham, off the A2 just outside Canterbury with its beautiful cathedral and city centre.

How do I try? Buy via their website and some wonderful local stockists, restaurants and bars too!

Stand out sip: Try their Chalklands Classic Cuvée N.V., an exciting new release to toast the Estate’s tenth anniversary. Three exceptional vintages were specially selected to create this blend, which was crafted in the Great British Classic Method. 

Chapel Down, Tenterden

What? Meet one of the UK’s largest wine producers. Chapel Down is a beautiful site, walk past gleaming new tanks and presses, their swanky new deli bursting with local produce and view their tasting room called The Wine Sanctuary. Take a guided tour with a tutored tasting of their award-winning range of sparkling and still wines and have some lunch in their smart on-site restaurant, with two AA Rosette and Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, The Swan.

Where? Head down the A229 and via the pretty Kentish villages of Benenden and Rolvenden to arrive at Chapel Down near Tenterden.

How do I try? Buy from their website.

Stand out sip: Forget trying it at home! Why not visit between the Sat 18 – Sun 26 June and enjoy a tasting experience with their award-winning range? For £15, enjoy a self-guided wine flights of free of their sparkling wines in their beautiful surroundings. We like the sound of that.

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