The best English vineyards for tours and tastings

Planning a vineyard visit for the summer months? From Kent to the Cotswolds, these are the best wine tours and tastings at top English wineries

Words by Pip Mortimer, Stuart Peskett, Laura Richards and William Morris

Bolney Vineyard West Sussex
Bolney Wine Estate in West Sussex, where vines were first planted back in 1972, is offering a full fleet of tours for visitors this summer

The quality of English wine continues to go from strength to strength and its blossoming reputation is driving consumer curiosity, with wineries transforming their estates into attractive tourist destinations as a result. There is an increasing number of reasons to visit English vineyards, be it a tour and a tasting, art and music events, picnics, a meal in a restaurant overlooking the vines or even an overnight stay. As the industry matures in the UK, the wines only continue to improve, and the range of styles on offer broadens too. Sparkling wine is no longer the only option when buying English, with a number of producers exploring still wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to impressive effect. All this means English wines are scooping more medals than ever, and we’ve used award winners from this year’s IWSC to form the backbone of our list below.

From vineyard tours led by estate owners to talks and tastings informed by the winemakers themselves, you can really get to the bottom of how England’s vineyards have adapted to a unique climate and varied terroir – from the chalky slopes of Surrey’s Greyfriars to sun-soaked Chapel Down in Kent. If you’re less about the education and more about the enjoyment, many of these English vineyards also offer snacks, afternoon tea, long, lingering lunches or drinks at dusk in the summer months, so you can make the most of the unique countryside settings – plus a glass or two of the good stuff.

English vineyard tours and tastings

Albourne Estate

Albourne Estate

West Sussex

While the South Downs are ripe with vineyards, Albourne proves popular thanks to its proximity to Brighton. Enjoy walk-in wine tastings and tours of the 12-hectare site and winery established in 2010, which is home to traditional and charmat method sparkling wine, a Bacchus awarded Bronze at the IWSC 2023 and, curiously, an English vermouth. During clement weather, bi-fold doors of the South-facing tasting room open out onto the vines and, throughout peak season (April to September), group-friendly experiences include Sussex cheese tastings, picnics in the vines and a Friday night supper club that sees local street food vendors pull up to the beat of live music and the sound of popping corks. LR

From £24pp

Albourne Farm, Shaves Wood Lane, Albourne, West Sussex, BN6 9DX


vineyard tour at balfour winery

Balfour Winery


Synonymous with sparkling rosé, the Balfour Winery in Kent is an ideal travel destination for summer visits and an afternoon in the sunshine. Richard and Leslie Balfour-Lynn’s 400-acre estate was first planted in 2002. Now a thriving winery, throughout the year visitors can choose to wander around the vineyards, orchards and woods (pick up a map at the cellar door), or select from a variety of tours and tastings. At estate restaurant The View, you can dine and taste wines among the family’s private art collection. PM

From £5pp

Balfour Winery, Five Oak Lane, Staplehurst, Tonbridge TN12 0HT


Bluestone Vineyards

Bluestone Vineyards


The founders of family-friendly Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm made the unlikely move into English sparkling wine back in 2016, with brothers Nat and Toby McConnell planting four hectares of vines next door to the ducks and donkeys. Complete a tour of the vines (select from self-guided or tutored options) – and surrounding animal attractions – with a trip to Bluestone’s cellar door, where guests on the sun deck are greeted with tasters of classic and rosé cuvées, served with cheeseboards that showcase more of Wiltshire’s finest produce. LR

From £10pp

Bluestone Vineyards, Cholderton Rare Breeds Farm, Amesbury Road, Cholderton, Wiltshire, SP4 0EW


Bolney Vineyard East Sussex

Bolney Wine Estate

West Sussex

Although you might know Bolney more for sparklers than still wines, the likes of its Estate Pinot Noir and Lychgate Rosé are now rising up the ranks. Vines were planted by the Pratt family back in 1972, and daughter Sam Lintner now leads the winemaking. The estate has been winning IWSC awards since the 1980s, but these days it’s as much a place for foodies as for oenophiles: tour packages can include a food-and-wine pairing session or a long lunch in the Eighteen Acre Café, which serves light bites, cheese boards and a Bolney burger to indoor and outdoor diners. LR

From £30pp

Bolney Wine Estate, Foxhole Lane, Bolney, Haywards Heath, RH17 5NB


Spurriers Bride Vineyard

Bride Valley


Owned by Bella Spurrier and her late husband, the great Steven Spurrier, this is the place for a family to visit. Children can be entertained with their own vineyard quiz while adults can enjoy a guided tour around part of the 10-hectare vineyard and see some of the stunning art and wine memorabilia that was collected by the family over the course of Steven’s long and influential time in the trade. A tasting of four wines finishes off the tour: be sure to seek out a glass of IWSC medal-winning Dorset Chardonnay. PM

From £22.50pp (£5 for children)

Bride Valley Vineyard, Stable Cottage, Court House, Litton Cheney, Dorset, DT2 9AW


Bushi Jacobson Wine Estate

Busi Jacobsohn Wine Estate

East Sussex

Husband and wife Susanna and Douglas describe Busi Jacobsohn as a ‘family vineyard’, where even their dogs play a part in protecting the land. A single-estate ethos has driven sparkling winemaking at the estate, situated 15 minutes south of Tunbridge Wells, since it was established in 2015, although the design-led elements might seem more prominent thanks to Susanna’s keen eye and background in art and fashion. A handful of summer open days sell out fast, but a tailor-made visit to the vineyard is still encouraged, with prior contact required so you can make the most of a group trip and tasting. LR

From £28pp

Busi Jacobsohn Wine Estate, Blackdon Hill, Farm, Eridge, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9HX


chapel down

Chapel Down


One of the pioneering producers of the English sparkling boom has also helped set the tone for wine tourism in the UK. Kent’s Chapel Down – situated on the edge of charming market town Tenterden – is open seven days a week for tours and tastings, including an opportunity to drink by the glass as you tour the vines and sample juice direct from the tank (all part of the ‘walking with wine’ tour). Tastings of its English Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and more familiar sparklers can also be combined with fine dining or afternoon tea in the Swan Restaurant. With plans for a new winery site recently approved in nearby Canterbury and the expansion of its wine production a future prospect, bigger things from Chapel Down are still to come. LR

Tour and tasting, £28pp

Chapel Down Winery, Small Hythe, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 7NG


Greyfiars Vineyard

Greyfriars Vineyard


The North Downs, just outside Guildford, are known for chalky slopes. Here, the Greyfriars team have been focusing on traditional method sparkling wines since a change of hands in 2010 – and has just scooped a Silver medal from the IWSC for its Blanc de Blancs Brut 2015. Guided tours are by appointment and come complete with tastings on a viewing deck. You can also take a self-guided saunter round those steep grounds, or plonk down on a pre-booked blanket with a bottle of your choice – a new experience for summer 2023. LR

From £22pp

Greyfriars Vineyard, The Hogs Back, Puttenham, Surrey, GU3 1AG


Wine Tasting Gusbourne Estate

Gusbourne Estate


Day-trippers from London can take the train and a short taxi ride to this renowned Ashford winery, where a regular roster of tours and tastings await. Founded by Andrew Weeber in 2004, the estate comprises 60 hectares of Burgundian clones put to good use in Gusbourne’s award-winning sparkling whites and rosés. As well as lunchtime picnic packages, keep an eye out for guest chef and restaurant collaborations throughout the summer that make Gusbourne a worthy tourist go-to. LR

From £30

Gusbourne Estate, Kenardington Road, Appledore, Ashford, TN26 2BE


hattingley valley

Hattingley Valley


What initially began as a diversification project for a farm has, under the guidance of award-winning winemaker Emma Rice, become one of the leading lights in English sparkling wine. Hattingley Valley makes its fizz using the traditional method and currently has a portfolio of six wines, including a classic Chardonnay-based blend, a blanc de blancs and a rosé. Guided tours of the winery include an opportunity to taste the current range and buy wines at cellar door prices. The Classic Reserve offers bright orchard fruits and a subtly nutty finish – it’s definitely not one to miss, having won gold at this year’s IWSC. WM


Hattingley Valley, Wield Yard, Lower Wield, Nr Alresford SO24 9AJ



High Clandon Vineyard


One of the five ‘Vineyards of the Surrey Hills’, High Clandon has carved out a niche with its single-vintage sparkling wines that are aged for at least five years before release. Located just east of Guildford, the estate was founded in 2004 by Sibylla and Bruce Tindale. The 10th edition of their annual ‘Art & Sculptures in the Vineyard’ event took place in July 2023, with more than 180 artworks on show in the gardens; vineyard and wildflower meadow. Book ahead for one of the open days that take place on Saturdays, which include the ‘Tour, Talk and Tasting’. SP

From £25pp + booking fee

High Clandon Estate Vineyard, East Clandon, Surrey, GU47RP


Wine Tasting Langham Dorset

Langham Wine Estate


Langham Wine Estate in Dorset started off as a ‘hobby vineyard’ in the late 2000s, according to head winemaker Tommy Grimshaw but is now a major attraction, with a restaurant and café, gift shop and cellar door for sales and tastings. Regular themed foodie nights take place, as well as winemaker dinners and a variety of tours. The wines themselves are a range of sparklers made from the classic Champagne varieties, including the award-winning Culver Classic Cuvée Extra Brut NV. SP

From £25pp

Langham Wine Estate, Crawthorne, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7NG


Michael Caines at Lympstone Manor

Lympstone Manor Estate


Part of chef Michael Caines’ vision when he set eyes on dilapidated Lympstone Manor was to plant a vineyard in the surrounding grounds. The transformation of the site into a luxury country house hotel has seen him do exactly that and the estate has now produced a single vineyard Pinot Noir, with sparkling wines to come. The vineyard tour on offer is far from ordinary, thanks to the four-course lunch included; dishes of lobster, quail and white truffle ravioli feature on the menu at the time of writing. Resident guests of the hotel can take the tour without lunch but for everyone else, this is a vineyard tour for a special occasion and a great opportunity to sample Caines’ cooking. All this is set in a beautiful location on the banks of the River Exe. WM

Tour with lunch, £155pp; tour without lunch available to resident guests for £48

Lympstone Manor Estate, Courtlands Lane, Exmouth, EX8 3NZ


Estate aerial


West Sussex

English wine fans will need no introduction to Nyetimber, its award-winning Blanc de Blancs the star of a sparkling range produced under the steer of Canadian couple Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix. Two-hour visits at Nyetimber HQ are limited to seasonal ‘open days’, which must be booked in advance and that see guests walking the West Sussex land, hearing the history of the estate and sampling three cuvées in the pleasant surrounds of the site’s 15th century barn. LR

Tour and tasting, £40pp

Nyetimber Vineyard, Gay Street, West Chiltington, West Sussex, RH20 2HH





Raimes is a fifth-generation family winery with vineyards that sit in a 1,800-acre farm near Alresford in Hampshire. The chalky soils made sparkling wine the obvious choice of style and Raimes’ range is traditionally made from handpicked Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. Vineyard tours run throughout summer and finish in the new ‘Tasting Barn’, where guests sample two of the wines. Snacks and cheeseboards are available for those wishing to linger afterwards, and there’s a shop offering bottles at cellar-door prices. This is a smart, modern winery with wines that represent great value. WM

From £15pp

Raimes, Broad Lane, Hinton Ampner, Alresford, SO24 0JY


Wine and Delicacies Ridgeview

Ridgeview Wine Estate

East Sussex

Considered one of the first growths of English sparkling wine, Ridgeview’s Chardonnay vines were planted back in 1995 and its bottles have notoriously been popped at Buckingham Palace. But despite those lofty heights, it’s a family business at heart. Get advice at the cellar door, book a one-and-a-half-hour tour and tasting or stop for a meal at the Rows & Vine restaurant, with views across the vineyard and the exquisite South Downs backdrop. LR

From £20pp

Ridgeview Wine Estate, Ditchling Common, Fragbarrow Lane, BN6 8TP


Vineyard at Roebuck Estates

Roebuck Estates

West Sussex

Roebuck Estates was established by two friends with the dream of producing exceptional vintage sparkling wine from the finest vineyards in England. Roebuck owns and manages six different sites in the south of England but its ‘home’ vineyard, close to the village of Tillington, is where the oldest vines are: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grow on greensand soils. A new tasting space called The View has been created at the top of this vineyard, giving guests spectacular views while they sample the wines and enjoy local produce. The current portfolio includes three sparkling wines, all of which can be tried during a tutored tasting as part of the tour and tasting experience. WM


Roebuck Estates, Upperton Farm, Tillington, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0RD


Chalk restaurant at Wiston

Wiston Estate Winery

West Sussex

Wiston Estate Winery, just a few miles from the West Sussex coast, is the realisation of owner Pip Goring’s dream. When she arrived in England from her native Cape Town in the early 1970s, she wanted to plant vineyards and build her own winery – and she and her family did, although it wasn’t until 2006 that the first vines went into the soil. The Goring family and winemaker Marcus Rayner are now the team that craft Wiston’s award-winning wines. Book a guided tour and tasting, as well as a table at Chalk, the restaurant on the estate, for dishes that celebrate local produce. SP

From £25pp

Wiston Estate Winery, North Farm, Washington, West Sussex, RH20 4BB


Woodchester Valley

Woodchester Valley


Situated in the south Cotswolds, Woodchester Valley made its first wine back in 2010, before moving to its current site and establishing the winery in 2016. The estate now offers a choice of tours, with picnic-lunch options, and special “Fizz and Chips” evenings – plus, there’s on-site accommodation, in the form of three vineyard barn guest rooms, and houses for larger groups. Tour and tastings run from April to November and there’s also a sizeable cellar-door shop five minutes’ drive away in the town of Nailsworth. SP

From £25pp

Woodchester Vallery, Convent Lane, Woodchester, Stroud, GL5 5HR



Woodchurch Wine Estate


Woodchurch is a family-owned business founded by Graham and Donna Barbour. The first vintage was released in 2015 and the winery now makes a range of still and sparkling wines, including still Chardonnay and a red Pinot Noir, plus a natural white made predominantly from Bacchus. The winery has a bar and restaurant, which serves snacks and more substantial cheese and charcuterie boards. Buying a glass and taking a moment on the winery terrace is a great way to relax and take in the view across the vineyards to the surrounding Kent countryside. You can pick up a map and follow it around the vineyard for free but the guided tour is conducted by Graham himself and gives guests an in-depth look at the story behind Woodchurch, as well as a taste of four wines. WM

Tour and tasting, £20pp

Woodchurch Wine Estate, Susan’s Hill, Woodchurch, Kent, TN26 3RE