Stanlake Park: Visit Berkshire’s largest ‘unpretentious’ vineyard dating back to the 12th century
Stanlake Park is Berkshire’s largest vineyard and one of the country’s oldest wine producers.
The 150-acre estate dates back to the 12th century, with a winemaking barn that can process over 200 tons of fruit per season.
Since 1979, Stanlake Park has produced a variety of English wines, including red, white, rosÃ© and traditional method sparkling wines.
The Twyford Estate offers wine tours and has its own delicatessen and gift shop. They even organize private events and wedding ceremonies.
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Stanlake has a long history
One of the earliest records of Stanlake Park dates back to 1166, when the land was owned in 1166 by Patrick Earl of Salisbury.
The estate was originally called Hinton Pipard and was most likely half-timbered. It was later renamed Stanlake Park in the 15th century when the member of the Thorpe family from Surrey inherited it and married Nicholas Stanlake.
In the early 1500s, the estate was owned by statesman and architect Sir Reginald Bray. He helped rebuild parts of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and helped organize funds for the invasion of Henry VII.
When Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth, Sir Reginald is said to have picked up his fallen crown and given it to Henry VII, symbolizing the start of the Tudor period.
Upon his death, it was passed on to his niece, whose husband, Sir Willliam Sandy, was a soldier and a trusted friend of King Henry VIII.
At the end of the 16th century, money was spent to rebuild the estate in brick. It belonged to Francis Windebank at the beginning of the 17th century who was Secretary of State to Charles I.
Stanlake was then sold to the Aldworth family in 1610, who built the present mansion. It was passed down from generation to generation until the end of the 18th century.
It later belonged to the Barker family in the 19th century until 1951 and was even visited by George III.
At the end of the 20th century, the estate was owned by the Leighton family and Jon Leighton planted the vineyard in 1979.
It was originally called Thames Valley Vineyard but has been renamed after the estate.
Stanlake offers wine tours
Over time, the original site has grown to over 15 acres and over 10,000 vines that feature many different types of grapes.
You can witness the history of Stanlake Park for yourself on their âfun, unpretentious and friendlyâ wine tours.
During the visit you can taste wines and visit the 17th century cellar, barrel cellar and vineyards.
Stanlake Park sometimes hosts evenings of homemade Italian food and English wine.
The estate also has a Class II shed and a Victorian barn which you can hire for private events or wedding ceremonies.
They have a gift shop and a delicatessen
The estate also has its own gift shop and wine bar, which is a converted Victorian greenhouse.
You can buy local food, drinks and bottles or cases of wine which would make a great Christmas present.
Products on offer include organic olive oil, English cheese and fine chocolates.
The shop also offers accessories and trinkets such as bath bombs, soy wax candles and wooden baskets.
They are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m., and the closing time varies.
The vineyard has sparkling reviews
The vineyard has also received high praise on Tripadvisor. Visitors described him as “very down to earth” and “not pretentious”.
Recent reviews from August 2021 call it “a glorious afternoon in a lovely setting”.
It reads: “We had a fabulous afternoon at Stanlake Park. We attended one of their wine tours. The tour was excellent and the guide was very knowledgeable and attentive. After the tour we moved on. afternoon enjoying a bottle of their rose sparkling wine and a picnic. “
Another reviewer called it a “wonderful cool place” with “Great wine, especially sparkling wine and rose 2021”.
How can I get there?
Stanlake Park Winery is located in Twyford, RG10 0BN.
You can find it on the B3018 Waltham Road exiting Twyford towards Wokingham and close to Ruscombe and Hurst.
If you are traveling by train, Twyford Station is a stop on the Great Western Rail route from Paddington, which passes through stops such as Reading, Slough and Maidenhead.
If you are not on the GWR route you can take a train to Reading and drive to Twyford from there.
From the station, the estate is about three minutes by taxi or 15 minutes on foot.
Tour reservations can be made online through Stanlake Park’s website.
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