3 beautiful Kent Vineyards to explore
- Credit: Key & Quill
It's well known that English wine has more than upped its game over the past few years. Some of the best examples are produced in Kent, and now many vineyards are places where you can not only learn about wine and its production via tours and tastings, you can enjoy delicious food, too.
Congratulations to Squerryes Wine Estate near Westerham, which has recently been recognised as one of the top five Champagne and Sparkling Wine brands in the world - yes, the world - at the rigorously-judged International Wine Challenge competition. If you want to raise a glass to its success (or perhaps, more likely, at your own celebration of a special event), Squerryes' new restaurant, The Bottle Store, certainly sounds worth a visit. Complementing the al fresco dining already offered during summer at its Terrace restaurant, evening visitors to The Bottle Store can enjoy a Squerryes Tasting Flight of award-winning sparkling wines alongside a menu created by chef Alexander Baillieu.
Seasonal dishes made from locally sourced ingredients - think Dungeness crab linguine (£16.50)and Romney Marsh herb-crusted rack of lamb (£29.50) - may well be served alongside Squerryes' own-grown produce. All sounds delicious. squerryes.co.uk
An equally enticing, though less formal, option is Gusbourne Estate's lunchtime picnic for two, a great way to experience the setting at your own pace, in your own picnic spot surrounded by beautiful vineyards. Inside your picnic bag you’ll find the best of Kent produce, such as artisan cheese and charcuterie, local fruit and homemade bread, accompanied by a bottle of Gusbourne Brut Reserve. All this plus reusable picnic glassware and a sparkling wine stopper you can keep. £80 for two. gusbourne.com (for other ideas of where to dine al fresco in Kent, see here)
Meanwhile, if you're happy to stick just to wine tasting, Mereworth Wines is opening up its winery and taproom to visitors for the first time this year, so, as you drink, you'll be surrounded by the equipment used to make them.
Handily coinciding with the opening is the release of two new wines - a white-from-white and a rosé, both of which are sparkling. The chance to taste sparkling wines on a summer's day - what a lovely idea! mereworth.co.uk
Want ideas for wine tours in Kent to try? See here
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