Vineyards & Wineries in Tunbridge Wells
English wines have recently developed a good reputation for themselves, particularly those produced from grapes grown in the vineyards of Kent, and some of the best are to be found in the Tunbridge Wells area.
Did you know that a fair chunk of the Wealden soil, or 'terroir', is extremely close in composition to that of the Champagne region and the best sparkling wine producing regions of France?
Since Kent used to be joined to France once upon a time, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise.
There are many more surprising sights and delights to be discovered in and around Tunbridge Wells, so come and exercise your tastebuds (and legs) for yourself!
Tours and tastings are available at the following vineyards:
Sandhurst Vineyard is a 25 acre winery on the outskirts of the village of Sandhurst and quite near to Cranbrook, whose range includes dry white, rosé and red wine.
Biddenden Vineyards is Kent's oldest commercial vineyard producing award-winning still and sparkling English wines.
Chapel Down Winery near Tenterden, produces a range of award-winning still and sparkling wines from Tenterden and Aylesford vineyards.
Hush Heath Winery between Cranbrook and Staplehurst, famous for, and yes, you guessed it, award-winning, pink sparkling wine and sparkling cider! You can order a hamper lunch too.
A weekend or mid-week break would be an ideal period for making a tour of these estates. You might want to consider visiting one per day though to give your palate time to fully appreciate the tastings!
Stay in one of the lovely rural Bed and Breakfasts to ensure you have a hearty full English before you set off each morning!
The safest way to undertake such a trip would be to go by taxi or your own chauffeur driven car. Contact the Tourist Information Centre for details. Of course, there is always the option to cycle round it too!
One such lovely tour stopping overnight at different places would take you through the Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB) including ancient forests and rolling pastures.
Start at Hush Heath winery near Staplehurst. Stay at The Milk House in the pretty village of Sissinghurst where the management pride themselves on dinner being made from ingredients of local producers.
After exploring Biddenden Vineyard, Maytham Cottages B&B in the rural Rolvenden Layne would be a great stop off for 2 nights as it sits between Biddenden Vineyard and Chapel Down Vineyard.
Chapel Down has a restaurant too, The Swan Wine Kitchen, so you can soak up the liquid, or marry the wine, with some delicious seasonal food.
Following your visit to Sandhurst, stop over at Applebloom B&B (surrounded by orchards) or Southgate, Little Fowlers B&B (with lovely views). Both are near Hawkhurst village in the most attractive Kent countryside. The Great House restaurant is tucked away and provides delicious meals for any occasion, not to mention their quaint garden.
Don’t forget the B&B owners are local and will be able to give you top tips for eating out and sights to see on their doorstep.