What better place than the Garden of England to discover the vineyards that produce some of our best and award-winning wines, beers and ciders? The rolling countryside of Kent is bursting with orchards full of plump rosy apples, vineyards packed with grapes just waiting to be picked and dusty fields full of hops ready to be turned into thirst-quenching beers. With geology and a climate perfect for making wonderful sparkling wines, and light fruity varieties, we invite you to take a tour of some of our best vineyards in Kent - just make space in your boot to take a few boxes home with you- just make space in your boot to take a few boxes home with you!
The pretty village of Biddenden is well known for its impressive local vineyard. Established in 1969, it is Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard and is a must-see on your tour. Its award-winning wines are grown on 23 acres of south-facing slopes, perfect conditions for growing grapes.
Tours and tastings: Take a guided tour or stroll at your leisure – tastings welcomed! Step back in time as you meet the old cider press, but don’t be fooled, the bottling line is fully modern and automated so that they can meet a high demand! Eleven varieties of grape are grown here for wines including red, white, rose and sparkling, all pressed and bottled on site.
Shop: Afterwards, you must pop into the shop to take home some goodies – there are not only wines and beers, but also a great selection of juices and other local produce such as Gribble Bridge meats, jams and chutneys. The famous Biddenden Cider is also made here!
Stay nearby: Vine Cottage, Biddenden – sleeps 5 + 1 dog
Reputedly served at the Royal Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Chapel Down is another award-winning, passionate producer of sparkling wines. With the largest grape press in the UK, the winery is equipped to meet high demand - they produce a great range of ciders and beers too.
Tours and tastings: You can stroll around the vineyards in Kent at your own pace or hop on to a guided tour to witness the traditional methods used during the production of their sparkling wines. Complete your experience with a tutored tasting either in the Cellar Door tasting are or with Wine Sanctuary. Tours cost from 18.50 per person.
Shop: Finish your day back at the Wine and Fine Food Store to stock up on Chapel Down products and other delicious local produce. Chapel Down also make interestingly named Curious Beers and Ciders including Curious Brew and Curious Apple. It also has a Vine Leasing scheme – a great gift where you can help to harvest your own wine which comes with its own custom label!
Stay nearby: Wittersham – The Piggery – sleeps 2 + 1 dog
This estate not only counts on an amazing micro-climate which presides over 40 acres of vines, but it is also hidden away amid a 400-acre mixture of meadows, apple orchards and ancient oak woodlands. Many of the wines are named after the children of the family who own Hush Heath, such as Skye’s English Chardonnay and Luke’s Tree Pure Russet Apple Juice. Home of the award-winning Balfour Brut Rose, you won’t want to miss this family-run affair.
Tours and tastings: You can while away the hours strolling around the grounds or, if you prefer something more structured, you can book an expert-led tour. For the more spontaneous, just pitch up for a wine tasting during opening hours where you can sample the delicious British sparkling and still wines and ciders. Tours and experiences start from £20pp.
Stay nearby: Tanner House, Marden – sleeps 15
Owned by the Carr Taylor family, this vineyard in Kent produces quality still and sparkling wines on their 37-acre farm. The award-winning wines are known for their distinctive English character; described as crisp and aromatic with delicate citrus, apple and pear notes. Carr Taylor was the first commercial vineyard to produce sparkling wines using the traditional method – a second fermentation in the bottle, comparable to Champagne. Their Vintage Sparkling Wine received the gold medal at the Concours European des Grands Vins, beating 1800 Champagnes – not bad for what was originally a side-line on their farm!
Tours and tastings: Pop along for a self-guided tour (dog welcome!) or book a fully tutored tour and tasting for a group of you – a great experience for a special occasion. Self-guided tours: £2.40 each / Group tours: £6.50pp.
Shop: End your visit with a trip to the shop where there are free wine tastings and a chance to stock up on a selection of wines to take home.
Stay nearby: Clare Cottage, Brede – sleeps 4 + 1 dog
Based in Appledore, Kent, Gusbourne supplies wines for leading restaurants such as The Fat Duck and Le Gavroche and are stocked in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason to name a few. Today, every bottle of wine created at Gusborune is donned with the Goosebourne family crest as a nod to the heritage of the estate and to signify uncompromising quality.
Tours and tastings: Hosted tours take place in the beautiful vineyards, the winery, and end in the luxurious tasting room where guests can sample the whole range of wines (plus a few exclusives). Of course, you don’t need to take a tour to experience the wines. The tasting room is open for drop-in visitors, and wines are available to taste and to purchase by the glass, bottle or case. Vineyard tours start from £25pp.
Stay nearby: Hop Pickers Oast, Appledore – sleeps 16
A family enterprise which combines traditional farming values with a modern environmentally-friendly ethos. This vineyard has the perfect geology and microclimate to produce great wines, choosing champagne grape varieties and rootstocks which suit the British terrain and climate.
Tours and tastings: Book in advance for an informative hour-long tour, usually led by the co-owners, the vineyard manager or one of the knowledgeable members of staff. End the experience with a tutored tasting in the farmyard Wine Shop. Tours cost £10.00 pp for groups between 5 – 15 people. Children are welcome free of charge – soft drinks included.
Shop: Housed inside a converted farm shed, the shop is open on Saturdays, and here you can buy wine by the glass, bottle or case. Free tasters are also available so that you can try before you buy.
Stay nearby: Oast House Cottage, Petham – sleeps 4
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Are your taste buds tingling? Discover the exquisite tastes developed by these beautiful vineyards in Kent! The perfect day out, a vineyard tour is a memorable experience for wine and food lovers. Set yourself at the heart of the Kent countryside, close to these fabulous vineyards and wineries with a stay in one of our cottages in Kent.
Heading over the border into Sussex? Discover our favourite Sussex vineyards
and places to stay nearby!