As a sommelier who has worked for Copenhagen’s Noma and Per Se in New York and set up the two Michelin-starred restaurant Kitchen Table in 2012, I'm more than a little discerning when it comes to wine. Britain may be a relative newcomer to wine making but its offerings are gaining more attention from oenophiles as time goes on, especially in the field of sparkling wine. And the good news is you can now stay at many of Britain's vineyards and try out the wines for yourself. Here are five to try:
The Bathing House at Sharpham Wine Estate
A romantic self-catering cottage straight out of the scenery in movies is surrounded by rows of vines that lead down to the waters of the River Dart in Devon. Sharpham's sparkling wines are just delightful along with some great rare varieties of still wines. There’s also a lovely little seasonal cafe to enjoy as well.
Tinwood Estate Lodges, West Sussex
Next door to the world famous Goodwood Estate and on the edge of the South Downs National Park, is Tinwood Winery, part of Ridgeview. Their wines are terrific and by escaping here you can take advantageous of the cathedral city of Chichester as well as the glorious sandy beaches of the Witterings. There are three luxury lodges to stay at each fitted with a jacuzzi, barrel sauna and of course fully-stocked wine fridge!
Rathfinny Wine Estate, Sussex
Chalky soils, world class sparkling wine and proximity to the sea makes this place a must for wine lovers and staycationers alike. There are old flint barns to stay with a quality restaurant on site as well.
Llanerch Vineyard, Wales
Llanerch's pride is its sparkling wine - a lovely fresh tipple made with a unique hybrid grape called Seyval Blanc. It is hard to find their wines on the market, making it more of a reason to visit and stock up. The hotel also houses a highly rated restaurant and a cookery school.
Secret Valley Vineyards, Somerset
If you’re looking for a different kind of weekend getaway, glamping is the way to go. This winery allows you to camp right in the vineyards surrounded by the lush hilly landscapes of Somerset. There are different types and sizes of accommodation with some even having their very own woodfire hot tubs.