Celebrate English Wine Week with five wineries from across Kent including Chapel Down and Balfour Winery
Grab the wine glasses and a corkscrew or two, as it’s English Wine Week from Saturday 18th June to Sunday 26th June.
To celebrate, we’re raising a glass to five jaw-dropping vineyards right here in the Garden of England…
Balfour Vineyard, near Maidstone
This beloved winery, which runs the Hush Heath estate in Staplehurst, is one of England’s finest producers. The magnificent Tudor estate has 400 acres of vineyards, apple orchards, wildflower meadows and oak woodlands to explore. There’s also a contemporary tasting room filled with a selection of artwork and sculpture from co-founder Leslie Balfour-Lynn’s private collection, an on-site boutique, and views from the terrace over the expansive vineyards and beyond. With collections such as the Vintage Sparkling Wine Collection, which includes Balfour’s first-ever wine, Balfour Brut Rosé, Leslie’s Reserve Collection and Balfour Pink Fizz, there is plenty to try from this award-winning winery.
Where: Five Oak Lane, Staplehurst, TN12 0HT. Learn more online here.
Biddenden Vineyards, near Ashford
One of Kent’s oldest wineries, Biddenden has been producing fantastic wines since 1969. Still run by the same family to this day, the vineyard started as a third of an acre of vines and is now an estate with 23 acres of slopes. facing south. and 12 different grape varieties. All the work in the vineyard on the estate is still done manually by hand, from pruning to picking, which you can see for yourself during one of the private tours of the vineyard. Explore the vineyard and cellar with an expert or, if you prefer, take a self-guided tour where you can discover the beauty of Biddenden at your leisure.
Where: Biddenden Vineyards, Gribble Bridge Lane, Biddenden, TN27 8DF. Learn more online here.
Chapel Down, near Tenterden
One of the country’s leading growers of English wine, Chapel Down has long been an established winery here in Kent. The grapes are primarily grown on the North Downs, while also using fruit from nearby vineyards in Kent, Sussex and Essex, to create the perfect flavor profiles. With a number of different wines available for tasting at the cellar and for purchase, from the best-selling Brut NV sparkling wine to England’s first Albariño white wine, you’ll be spoiled for choice this week of the English wine at Chapel Down.
Where: Chapel Down Winery, Smallhythe, Tenterden, TN30 7NG. Learn more online here.
Vineyard in Meopham Valley, near Gravesend
Originally established in 1991, this 25-acre vineyard soaks up the sun on a beautiful east-facing slope with the beautiful Happy Valley as its backdrop. With nine varietals, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, to try, wine lovers will have a hard time choosing their favorite from the winery’s selection. Meopham Valley prides itself on its connection to the small village and local community and as a result the Bassi family, who took over the vineyard in 2014, changed the name of the wine to Meophams, which can now be found on every bottle. . .
Where: Meopham Valley Vineyard, Meopham Green, Meopham, Gravesend, DA13 0PY. Learn more online here.
Terlingham Vineyard, near Folkestone
This family-run vineyard offers award-winning wines using grapes grown on the same chalk vein as the Champagne region. Quality is therefore part of the whole. You can take a guided tour through the vineyard, which grows naturally and contains no artificial pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides, and taste a selection of English Terlingham wines along the way. The Wilks family left South Africa and took over the vineyard in 2006 and since then have proven popular with wines such as the Terlingham 2019 Sparkling White, which won silver at the Independent English Wine Awards 2021.
Where: Terlingham Manor Farm, Terlingham Lane, Hawkinge, Folkestone, CT18 7AE. Learn more online here.
If you’re looking for even more ways to celebrate English Wine Week, you can enjoy the best Kent has to offer at Canterbury Wine Festival. Browse over 25 Kentish wines throughout the day from Simpsons Wine Estate, Balfour Hush Heath, Biddenden, Chartham, Heppington, Wayfarer, Wine Garden of England and more. You can also join renowned wine expert Clive Barlow for a tasting masterclass and taste exquisite drinks from around the county. Festival tickets cost £35 and include 20 wine tastings per person.
Where: Westgate Hall Road, Canterbury, CT1 2BT. Learn more online here.