English Wine Week (19-27 June) shines a light on England’s wonderful wines and its innovative producers. Herefordshire’s cider-making credentials are legendary but our cup (or should that be glass?!) overflows with fabulous wine producers too. To celebrate English Wine Week, here’s a round-up of Herefordshire’s best wine experiences.
Winery Sleepover at Wythall Estate
Wythall Estate, near the market town of Ross-on-Wye, makes award-winning wines such as the Siegerrebe Wythall Estate white. Sleeping over at the vineyard makes for a very special experience, especially when combined with a guided tour of the winery and a tutored tasting. The sixteenth-century Manor House is set in gorgeous gardens with a freshwater lake and wooded grounds surrounding the vines. There are two self-contained cottages in the west wing, sleeping two and four respectively, with dogs welcome at both. Those not staying are invited to join vineyard tours and tastings which take place on Saturdays throughout the year.
In the area: visit Ross Wines, a small family shop (with a vast selection of wines) in the pretty market town of Ross-on-Wye.
Stay at Coddington Vineyard with a wine tasting tour and lunch
Coddington Vineyard, just four miles from Ledbury, is a family affair. Peter and Sharon Maiden produce a boutique selection of wines and rent out two self- catering properties. Guests can choose from the Grade II-listed Hop Cottage which sleeps four, and Vine Lodge, situated on the edge of the vineyard, which sleeps two.
Everyone is welcome to book a vineyard tour as well as tasting experiences and the chance to enjoy a light lunch in the delightful gardens too.
Coddington’s collection of single variety wines, along with a variety of local produce, can be purchased from their shop in the old apple press house. Their award-winning Bacchus and sparkling Pinot Gris are particularly popular.
In the area: pop to Ledbury to peruse the selections on offer at Hay Wines and The Wine Shed
Take a Wine Tour at Foxbury Fields
Foxbury Fields Vineyard, at the foot of the Malvern Hills, produces small batch Bacchus and Ortega wines from grapes grown in their own unique micro-climate. Owners Heather Williamson and Richard Baker are now opening up the vineyard for tours and tastings giving guests the chance to try their classic vintage English Bacchus and their delightfully perfumed Ortega at the winery. Their first tour and tasting event is on 19 June to mark the start of English Wine Week and they will be offering additional dates throughout the summer.
In the area: Call in at Ceci Paolo in Ledbury to pick up delicious local cheeses, crackers and chutneys to accompany your wine.
Tours, Tastings & Vineyard Shopping at Frome Valley
Standing on the banks of the River Frome at Paunton on the Herefordshire/ Worcestershire border, Frome Valley Vineyard is surrounded by orchards, hop yards and rolling meadows. The team here make still and sparkling wines including Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Reichensteiner, Madeleine Angevine, Schonurger and Rondo – these varieties are well suited to the conditions as they benefit from a long growing season and slow ripening.
The on-site shop sells their wines, cider and brandy and they are open to visitors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am-6pm and at other times by arrangement. Owner Jeanie Falconer can accommodate groups of up to 20 people for tours and tastings with prior notice.
In the area: Visit Legges of Bromyard or the food hall at The Hop Pocket to discover local bread, cheese and pates.
A Sparkling Welcome at Black Mountain Vineyard
Black Mountain Vineyard is set in the beautiful Herefordshire countryside and produces three distinct sparkling wines all grown and bottled on site – a sparkling white, a sparkling rose and a Col Fondo. Mark and Laura Smith planted the vineyard in 2009 with a wealth of knowledge from working harvests in France, studying viticulture and oenology and working with a local organic producer. They’re very happy to book tours and delight in showing visitors around.
In the area: Half an hour’s drive away is Monkland Dairy, which offers cheese tours and sells a fantastic array of regional varieties which are made on site.
Savour Herefordshire wines at home
Other fabulous recommendations from our region include Sixteen Ridges, Castle Brook and Radlow Hundred, or try Monkhide for fruit wines. These vineyards all sell online, making it easy to enjoy a taste of Herefordshire at home.
Find out more about English Wine Week