It’s not enough just to have a vineyard

By | Category: Travel news


Starting yesterday Wine Week is – at it suggests – a celebration of the quality and range of home-grown wines. It goes without saying that it is also an opportunity to persuade you to visit, taste and buy wines that catch your fancy.
There are vineyards over a substantial part of England these days from big, award-winning ones like Denbies near Dorking in Surrey and Chapel Down in Kent to newly opened smaller ones such as Knightor in Cornwall.

Knghtor, near St Austell, is not only one of the newest but one of the smallest at just four acres and offers tastings, tours and a restaurant. The vines were first planted in 2006 and the first wine in 2010 yet already it has won awards. As one of over 400 vineyards in England, it will be just one of many promoting the special week. And don’t forget the Welsh ones either.
There are fewer vineyards there and they have been ploughing their own furrow for a few years. Now they plan to reform the old Welsh Vineyard Association in order to have joint promotional efforts. Not as well-known as English wine, but it is beginning to gather awards. As part of a joint promotion, there is a leaflet that you can collect from tourist offices called Wine Trail Wales. Incidentally the website is under construction but the old one still gives opening hours and provides information on what is available.

In Scotland there are vines being planted on a trial scale but no harvesting is due until next year and none are open for visiting.

Given that it half-term, you might want to consider some of the vineyards that make unusual offerings such as Glyndwr Vineyard near Cowbridge in Wales that has llama walks or the oddly named Jabajak Vineyard in Carmarthenshire that has a time set aside each day for feeding red kites. The Kerry Vale Vineyard in Powys which doesn’t open to the public until July tops all of that. How about a Bronze Age funerary monument, a druid road, a medieval settlement, and part of Offa’s Dyke? Kerry Vale has all of that.

It obviously isn’t enough these days to have a tasting room, a vineyard and a shop!

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