If, like all of us on this (right now) soggy little island you’re still thinking about sipping a glass of something red, white, sparkling or hoppy on a terrace (not necessarily yours) then let us take you there. Kent’s vineyards, tasting rooms, wine tours, wine shops and experiences are ready to be sipped, supped and swilled as much or as little as you like. It’s a ‘glass half full of English wine’ attitude that keeps us topped up this summer.
In 2014, Simpons’ Wine Estate laid down roots amid the pristine beauty of the Elham Valley – an unspoilt seam in the North Downs of Kent. Simpsons offers a Vineyard & Winery Tour & Tasting Experience as well as Sunset Sessions – which sounds like the perfect way to raise a glass on a hazy summer evening and enjoy locally sourced platters.
Conveniently named, is Vine Cottage, a charming, countryside retreat sleeping 4 guests plus dogs in the pretty village of Patrixbourne. Or browse Hill House Farm, an exquisitely furnished farmhouse in Elham also near Canterbury sleeping 6 people.
Family-owned and run, Warehorne’s vines revel in their salty views of Romney Marsh and Dungeness and produce great still red, white and rose wines. Newly planted in 2020, Warehorne is an under-the-radar find among the blossoming Kentish wine industry’s big names.
Cellar tours: £12.50 per person and available by pre-booking at here
Book in at The Figgy in Charing, it’s a pretty lodge located on the North Downs an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This cute lodge is perfect for couples who want to immerse themselves in the lovely Kent countryside and is ideal spot to stay after a local wine tour. Or for something bigger browse Old Harrow Barn in Egerton which sleeps 11 guests with an impressive cinema room and a hot tub.
The design, the delivery, the divine wine… everything at Westwell comes with a huge helping of contemporary winemaking cool. These guys are setting the standard for the look, feel and taste of modern English wine right now and innovation is their middle name. That fresh feeling is threaded through their winemaking with one of their latest additions being a Pet Nat – the latest cool thing in sparkling wine production and at Westwell it’s their Naturally Petulant Pink. If impressing your friends with your knowledge of new English wines is your thing, then be here now.
Vineyard Tour + Tasting from £25 with the option to add on food as well.
If you’re looking for accommodation on the doorstep of Westwell Vineyard, check out The Parlour it sleeps 4 people plus 1 dog. Or for somewhere slightly larger see Dormestone Farm in Charing, just a seven-minute drive or an hour’s countryside walk. This holiday home sleeps 12 guests plus a few dogs.
The Balfour family are inescapable at this well-respected, first-class vineyard in rural Staplehurst which Richard Balfour founded two decades ago. His wife, Lesley, and each of their three children have either wines, beers or vintages bearing their name and their son Jake makes his own cider from the orchards surrounding the vines.
The Balfour Wine Estate Tour and Tasting is from £45 pp which you can book here
Near by is Lower Standen Farm which is a beautiful holiday home with a spacious open-plan well-equipped kitchen, ideal for entertaining guests as it sleeps 24 people. Or if you’re after something smaller take a look at Motor House Loft in Sandhurst which sleeps 4 this is close to Chapel Down vineyards if you fancy doing two tours during your stay!
Kent’s original vineyard, Biddenden has been owned and managed by the Barnes family since 1969. Today the vineyard is run by the second & third generations of the family, drawing on many years of experience in winemaking at Biddenden. Their single estate vineyard now spans 23 acres of gentle south-facing slopes offering 12 different grape varieties producing an array of award-winning White, Rosé, Red and Sparkling English wines.
Open tours and tasting start from £20 per person – head to their website to book.
Or if you fancy adding another Vineyard into your schedule then just a 10-minute drive away is Balfour Winery at Hush Heath, Staplehurst. Within close distance of these vineyards is Bedgebury Oast, sleeping 10 guests and Finchcocks Oast, sleeping up to 42.
A premier name in English winemaking, Gusbourne has developed a reputation for its vineyard as a ‘must visit’ for anyone who loves celebrating the finest British food and wine. Special events in ‘The Nest’ including exciting one-off chef cooking events, picnics and extensive tours of the vineyards make Gusbourne a fascinating destination.
Cellar tours are available every day with Vineyard tours from £30 and Estate tours from £100.
For nearby accommodation discover The Oast which is a typical traditional Kentish oast house in Newenden or Wheelwrights Cottage which is just a half-hour scenic drive from Gusbourne vineyard, sleeping 5 guests this holiday home is a real gem!
Let Wine Tours of Kent transport you through the beautiful Kent countryside exploring the opulence within the Garden of England’s award-winning Vineyards. Bloom Stays have partnered with Wine Tours of Kent to offer guests a unique experience for you to discover, taste and enjoy a day of wine tasting, and relaxing knowing the itinerary has been planned for you.
The full-day bespoke tour includes:
Wine Tours of Kent Visit Balfour Winery, Barnsole Vineyard, Biddenden Vineyard, Brabourne Wines, Chapel Down, Chartham Vineyard, Gusbourne, Herbert Hall, Mereworth Wines, Simpsons Wine Estate, Terlingham Vineyard, Wayfarer Wines, Westwell Wines, Woodchurch Wines, Woolton Farm & Yotes Court Vineyard and more.
Fancy learning more about some fantastic English wines in the comfort of your Bloom Stays holiday home instead?
Bloom Stays and Wine Tours of Kent can arrange for the knowledgeable team from Wine Tours to Kent to come to you in your Bloom Stays holiday home. They will create an interactive, fun and enjoyable experience that takes you around the Kent vineyards without stepping away from the comfort of your sofa, lounger or bar stool. See our partnership page for full details.