Situated on the edge of Topsham, just outside of Exeter, sits the beautiful Darts Farm Pebblebed Vineyard. The team at the vineyard is proud to be one of very few single estate producers in the country; with the vineyard and winery in one place and wines made from their own grapes. Their tours and tastings are led by Head Winemaker, Alex, who has been part of the Pebblebed team for over 10 years. The tours are a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the secrets behind crafting amazing English sparkling and still wine in the beautiful East Devon countryside. 

The 18-acre vineyard and traditional winery are situated on the farm, in the little village of Clyst St George, and sits on top of a unique geological formation known as the Budleigh Salterton pebble beds. This part of East Devon enjoys some of the highest hours of sunshine in the county, and the lowest rainfall, being in the rain shadow of Dartmoor and the Haldon Hills. This unique terroir, combined with Darts Farm's sustainable agriculture practices and traditional growing and harvesting techniques, helps them to craft award-winning sparkling and still Devon wines.

The 18-acre vineyard is situated on the farm, in the little village of Clyst St GeorgeThe 18-acre vineyard is situated on the farm, in the little village of Clyst St George (Image: Darts Farm)

The first of the grapes to ripen, usually around the end of September, are the Rondo. These are used in Pebblebed's Red and Rosé still wines. By mid-October their Seyval Blanc grapes should be ready. They are the grapes used in Pebblebed's award-winning English sparkling and still white wines.

Try some of the wines on your tourTry some of the wines on your tour (Image: Darts Farm)

To craft their sparkling wines, Pebblebed uses the traditional champagne method, which involves bottle conditioning on the lees (fermenting) for several years to develop complex characteristics. Unlike mass-produced wines that strive to achieve an identical taste year on year, their batches of sparkling wines are crafted to reflect each growing season, to showcase the unique flavours of that particular year, making each batch extra special. They are currently on their 2018 vintage Sparkling Rosé and 2020 vintage Sparkling White. 2018 was a growing season regarded by some winemakers as a once in a century event, so be sure to try a bottle of this vintage whilst you can. The warm weather in 2020 saw the harvest start a few days earlier than usual, with the grapes coming in at slightly higher sugar levels and harvested in perfect weather conditions and the resulting sparkling is excellent. 

Rondo Seyval Blanc grapes are used in Pebblebed's award-winning English sparkling and still white wines.Rondo Seyval Blanc grapes are used in Pebblebed's award-winning English sparkling and still white wines. (Image: Darts Farm)

Tours of the picturesque Pebblebed Vineyards and award-winning winery are available on Thursdays and Saturdays between May and September. Enjoy a glass of Sparkling Rosé on arrival, before setting off with Head Winemaker, Alex, who will take you around the vineyard as he shares his knowledge on the vine varieties and growing grapes, and how these are affected by Devon's unique terroir. Visitors also tour the winery, learn about the processes involved in making different wines and enjoy a guided tasting of all five of Pebblebed's wines. This is followed by a delicious selection of British farmhouse cheese and artisan charcuterie from the Darts Farm deli counter, whilst looking out over the beautiful views of the vineyard.

Both the farm shop and vineyard are located just off of the Exe Estuary Cycle trail, making for a fun filled day out. For those looking to make their day extra special, head to Darts Farm's new restaurant, The Farm Table, after your tour, where you can enjoy seasonal produce sourced from their farm, local producers, farmers and fisherman and cooked over fire.

Pebblebed Vineyard's still white, red and rosé are available to buy, along with their sparkling white and rosé, directly from Darts Farm or online at

Enjoy the wine created at Darts FarmEnjoy the wine created at Darts Farm (Image: Darts Farm)