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A taste of English wine - 5 beautiful English wineries and vineyards close to London

Whether you’re visiting London, or live in the city and want to explore the wonderful world of English wine, I’ve curated a non-exhaustive list of five beautiful English wineries and vineyards that you can visit within proximity of the English capital.


Bolney Wine Estate

Photo location: Bolney Wine Estate


These days, English wine is available on many wine lists at venues across the United Kingdom, however, there’s nothing quite like indulging in a glass of English sparkling wine amongst the vines from where It was produced, while learning about the history of the producer and their winemaking process.


A question I’m commonly asked by UK residents and International wine friends alike is, where can I go to experience English wine? Do I need to have a designated driver to be able to get there?


Here I will highlight several fantastic English wineries that are within 1 hour of London and are easily accessible by train and/or taxi. Because less time travelling, is more time sipping.


 

Bolney Wine Estate, West Sussex.

Travel time from London: ~ 56 minutes. (45-minute train, 11-minute taxi).*


Located on the edge of the beautiful South Downs in Sussex, Bolney is an award-winning producer celebrating 50 years of the Bolney Wine Estate. A favourite local winery of mine, the Bolney estate is the perfect setting to enjoy a wonderful English wine experience while tasting through a fantastic portfolio of wines produced under Managing Director & Head Winemaker Sam Linter.


Bolney wine estate

Photo credit: Bolney


Offerings:
  • Tours & Tastings (Check in advance for availability)

  • Onsite restaurant (Book in advance)

  • Onsite shop

Wine portfolio:

Predominantly sparkling wines with a selection of still red, white and rosé wines as well as a selection of Gin and Vermouth.


Personal favourites: 2018 Blanc de Blancs. 2018 Cuvée Rosé. 2020 Lychgate Rosé


How to get there:

Closest train station: Haywards Heath

London departure station/s: London Bridge. London Victoria.


Contact:

Instagram: @Bolneyestate

 

Ridgeview, East Sussex.

Travel time from London: ~ 55 minutes. (50-minute train, 5-minute taxi).*


Established in 1995, Ridgeview has quickly established itself as one of England's leading wineries and recently made the top 100 best vineyards in the world publication. Achieving #73, Ridgeview was the highest-placing entry of any English winery. Situated in the heart of Sussex, I’m a frequent visitor to Ridgeview and its globally acclaimed, award-winning portfolio of wines has been served for Queen Elizabeth II and President Obama.

Ridgeview winery

Photo credit: Ridgeview


Offerings:
  • Tours & Tastings (Check in advance for availability)

  • Onsite restaurant (Book in advance)

  • Onsite shop

Wine portfolio:

A selection of vintage and non-vintage English sparkling wines.


Personal favourites: 2016 Blanc de Blancs. Fitzrovia Rosé NV. Bloomsbury NV.


How to get there:

Closest train station: Burgess Hill

London departure station/s: London Bridge.


Contact:

Instagram: @ridgeviewwineuk

 

Albourne, West Sussex.

Travel time from London: ~ 1hr. (50-minute train, 10-minute taxi).*


Albourne winery is dedicated to capturing the terroir of Sussex. The winery was founded in 2010 by husband and wife team, Alison Nightingale and Nick Cooper, and has constantly expanded its portfolio. They’ve built a reputation for not only producing high-quality English sparkling wines, but also a portfolio of still wines which in my opinion are some of the best in the country. Located 8 miles from the Sussex coastline, the Albourne vineyard spans 30 acres and grows no fewer than eight varietals on site.

Albourne winery

Photo credit: Albourne Estate


Offerings:
  • Tours & Tastings. (Seasonal, check in advance for availability)

  • Onsite shop

Wine portfolio:

A mixed wine portfolio that includes both sparkling and still red, white and rosé wines. Albourne also produces vermouth.


Personal favourites: 2013 Blanc de Noirs. 2018 White Pinot Noir. 2019 Red Pinot Noir.


How to get there:

Closest train station: Burgess Hill

London departure station/s: London Bridge.


Contact:

Instagram: @albourneestate

 

Denbies, Surrey.

Travel time from London: ~ 56 minutes. (52-minute train, 4-minute taxi or 15-minute walk).*


Situated in the beautiful Surrey Hills, Denbies wine estate is one of England's largest single-estate vineyards with 265 acres of vines planted. Establish in 1985, the estate truly does have something for everyone and if you would like to pair an afternoon of wine tasting and tours with a walk in the beautiful English countryside concluding with a delicious meal, Denbies is the perfect place to do just that.

Denbies Wine Estate

Photo credit: Denbies wine estate


Offerings:
  • Tours & Tastings (Check in advance for availability)

  • Vineyard Train Tour

  • Art gallery

  • Brewery

  • Onsite restaurant (Book in advance)

  • Onsite shop

  • Vineyard Hotel (Book in advance)

Wine portfolio:

A mixed wine portfolio that includes both sparkling and still red, white, rosé and orange wines.


Personal favourites: 2014 Cubitt Blanc de Noirs. Whitedowns Rosé NV. 2019 Chardonnay.


How to get there:

Closest train station: Dorking

London departure station/s: London Waterloo. London Bridge.


Contact:

 

Balfour Winery, Kent.

Travel time from London: ~ 52 minutes. (45-minute train, 7-minute taxi).*


Number 78 on the top 100 best vineyards in the world list in 2022, Balfour Winery is one of England's leading wine producers. A pioneer of the English traditional method sparkling wines and the new wave of still wines. Since the winery's first harvest in 2004, Balfour has been a prominent figure in English wine and opened its state-of-the-art winery in 2010. The Balfour portfolio has continuously been recognised with accolades on the international stage for producing high-quality wines under the management of Father and son winemakers, Owen and Fergus Elias.

Balfour Winery

Photo credit: Balfour Winery


Offerings:
  • Tours & Tastings (Check in advance for availability)

  • Onsite restaurant (Book in advance)

  • Onsite shop

Wine portfolio:

A mixed wine portfolio that includes both sparkling and still red, white and rosé wines.


Personal favourites: 2018 Blanc de Blancs. 2018 Balfour Brut Rosé


How to get there:

Closest train station/s: Marden. Staplehurst.

London departure station/s: London Bridge.


Contact:

Instagram: @balfourwinery


 

For a full list of amazing UK wineries and vineyards, check out the Wine GB directory.


*Travel times are estimates based on train timetables available at the time of publication and do not include waiting times.




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