Many of us will have taken the opportunity to do a little wine tasting whilst on holiday abroad, whether at a local cellar door or at a specialist wine store. These experiences are usually thoroughly enjoyable and informative and most of us will have walked away with at least a few bottles of wine which taste all the better when drunk for having been bought on site.
However, these wine tasting experiences don’t have to be restricted to holiday times. There are plenty of white wine vineyards in the UK which offer formal wine tasting experiences or informal cellar door tastings and chats. With the reputation of UK white wine improving all the time these wine tasting opportunities should be taken seriously.
Several gift experience websites offer white wine tasting experiences at a number of UK vineyards. There are a variety of offers at a variety of vineyards for a variety of prices, some including lunch and/or a tour as well as white wine tasting.
For example, the gift experience website Buy a Gift has got vineyards such as Three Choirs in Gloucestershire, Wroxeter Roman Vineyard in Shrewsbury and Old Walls in Devon on board. The offers include a vineyard tour and tasting with lunch for two; afternoon tea with vineyard tour and tasting for two and even the opportunity to adopt a vine at the Three Choirs vineyard.
Three Choirs is England’s most awarded single estate vineyard so an opportunity to taste the white wine here should not be missed. The winery produces a wide range of white wines from grapes such as Bacchus, Seyval Blanc, Siegerrebe and Reichensteiner and a selection of these wines are usually available for tasting. With guided tours, nature trail, gift shop, restaurant and cookery school all on site too, a wine tasting experience here has as much to offer as most French, Italian, Californian or Australian wine estates.
Wroxeter Roman Vineyard is built on an ancient Roman site and offers tours and tastings of a selection of its wines. Its white wine range is extensive, ranging from light and crisp dry wines such as its Corner Oak and Solaris to medium bodied, medium sweet wines such as the Noble Roman and Shropshire Gold.
Old Walls Vineyard in Devon offers tours and tastings and has a tea room and shop. The white wine selection includes a sparkling brut made using Auxerrois and Pinot Noir grapes and two still white varietals – the Bacchus English Quality White Wine is made from the Bacchus grape and the Chapel White is made using Reichensteiner.
Bolney Wine Estate in West Sussex is featured on another gift experience website, Gift Heaven. It offers tours and tastings of its award winning white wines plus lunch or a cream tea if you want to extend your day out. Bolney Wine Estate produces one white wine and one rose. The Lychgate White is a blend of Reichensteiner, Wurzer and Schonburger grapes whilst the Bolney Rose is medium dry. There is also a selection of sparkling wines including a Blancs de Blancs, the Bolney Bubbly and a Cuvee Rose.
Into the Blue gift experience website also features a number of white wine tasting experiences. Amongst the vineyards on offer is Chiltern Valley in Oxfordshire. Its wines are award-winning and its tours and tastings have been running for 25 years. Private tours can be booked for a minimum of 15 people. The tutored wine tasting sessions take place in the winery’s cellar shop where visitors can try a selection of the vast range of white wines produced here. The range includes a Quality Sparkling Wine produced from Reichensteiner and the bestselling still whites include an Oak Aged Dry made from Schonburger and Reichensteiner and a Special Cuvee produced from Trebbiano, Reichensteiner and Mullar Thurgau.
Carr Taylor Vineyard in East Sussex also features on the Into the Blue website. It also offers tours and tastings at its winery, allowing a tutored sampling of a selection of its sparkling and still white wines. Carr Taylor sparkling wines include an English Sparkling Brut, English Sparkling Vintage and English Sparkling Rose whilst the still white wine range includes the award-winning flagship Alexis English White Wine made from Wurzer and Ortega grapes and the 1066 English White Wine produced from Reichensteiner and Wurzer grapes.
These are just a selection of the award-winning wineries in the UK which offer tours and wine tasting experiences. Whilst gift vouchers for these experiences can be bought on a variety of gift websites it is also possible to book tours and tastings directly with the winery you wish to visit. Most places in England and Wales will have a winery within travelling distance and they are well worth a visit, not only to support our white wine industry but for the enjoyment of the experience.
Image of Three Choirs Vineyard from three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk.