Just over an hour’s drive (or train ride as recommended) from London is a hidden gem in Shoreham, Kent, The Mount Vineyard, a stunning boutique vineyard that produces some seriously exceptional award winning wine and is located on 10 acres of beautiful grounds.
I love that the UK has some notable vineyards and that UK wine is doing so well and on par with its European contenders!
I had booked a tasting and a tour here as a birthday outing for Amit and it was a fantastic experience right from the start, driving up to the gorgeous venue, the warm and welcoming staff, to the superb tasting led by El, which included a tour of the vineyards, which was wonderful. If you are looking for a birthday or anniversary treat, or just somewhere unique and different to experience with friends or family I can’t recommend it enough!
On site there is also a restaurant, where we had pizza before our tasting was due to start, and it is a great space serving some tasty food as well as their delicious selection of wine. It is also dog friendly!
Our tasting session started in a spacious purpose built area, away from the main restaurant, and so ideal for big groups, and we kicked off with a rather unusual Sparkling Red, which El later told us had actually been created by accident!
She then whisked us away to see the vines, which were beautiful, and we were fortunate to have really good weather.
It was great timing as Veraison had started, which is the onset of ripening in viticulture when the grapes change colour from green to the final colour they will become for their variety, as you can see in the picture, there are stunning hues of purple contrasting the green in this bunch.
It is during this time that the aromas and flavours start to develop in the grapes. Harvest is then usually done in October.
El was fantastic and have us a really insightful background to how the Mount Vineyard came to be as well as all the various wines that they produce, with the ageing and bottling being done by Denbies Estate.
We then returned to the tasting room and tried other gorgeous wines whilst nibbling on Cheese and Charcuterie. My favourites from the day were the Rose and the Sparkling Red.
I learned so much from El, especially handy tips on storing wine at home and she was really engaging and passionate and it shone through in the way she ran the tasting session.
If after your tasting you want to linger and have more drinks, they also have the Flint Bar nestling in the vines, with lots of outdoor seating.
I really enjoyed the experience, found the hospitality excellent and would definitely be back again for more!
They have wine tasting sessions all year round and Shoreham Village Station is literally round the corner, so leave those car keys behind and get yourselves on a train there and enjoy an excellent wine tasting in picturesque surroundings.
For more information visit: http://www.themountvineyard.co.uk/