Summer is here – and there’s nothing better than wandering around an English Vineyard on a beautiful sunny day!
One I recently visited is Denbies Wine Estate, in Dorking, for a tour and tasting. Denbies is a huge estate, with sprawling vineyards across the North Downs, as well as a large indoor restaurant and a farm shop.
We had an indoor tour – which was very informative, but I felt quite rushed and we were in a large tour group. In my opinion, it wasn’t as good as other tours I have been on – Hambledon Vineyard had a much warmer, family-run feel to it with smaller tour groups. (I’d recommend a visit if you find yourself in the area! Read about their Wine Festival here) However, Denbies Wine Estate is much older and much, much larger – so a family-run feel isn’t necessarily to be expected.
Anyway – back to the tour! There’s a fair amount of photos coming your way…
Denbies produce several wines, including two whites, a rosé and some sparkling ones. I’m personally more of a fan of red wine, so the whites weren’t quite to my liking – but nice wines all the same. Our tasting session didn’t include the sparkling wines – although they looked lovely!
The tasting sessions are held in the cellar – cold and dark, but with a great authentic feel. Against the wall were some of the original ornate barrels, illustrating the stages of creating the wine at Denbies – from growing the vines, through to the pressing.
The restaurant is in a huge room with a large greenhouse-style roof, perfect for sunny days (and wet ones too)!
All in all, I would recommend a visit to Denbies – although I think that an outdoor tour would probably be more enjoyable than the indoor one we did, as we didn’t have the opportunity to see and learn about the vines. It was an interesting afternoon, and the setting of the vineyard is so beautiful – the Denbies estate now consists of 632 acres!
Find out more about Denbies Wine Estate here.