Grapes in the city: What are the best vineyards in London?

Looking for a grape escape within the bustling metropolis of London? Good news for you: we’re about to uncork the city’s best-kept secrets – the finest vineyards nestled in the heart of Britannia.

But that’s not all – we won’t stop at the city limits! We’re also spilling the beans on the nearby vineyards that add an extra layer of charm to the wine-soaked adventure. So, let the grape escapade begin!

Forty Hall Vineyard

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Location: Forty Hall Farm, Enfield EN2 9HA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8366 7511

Guided tour: Starts at £15 for wine tastings held on the second Sunday of every month from April to September

Website

Founded in 2009, Forty Hall Vineyard is a shining example of urban viticulture. The vineyard spans 10 acres of organic bliss that showcases not only a diverse array of grape varieties but also a dedication to environmentally friendly practices.

They embrace a holistic approach that preserves biodiversity through natural pest control and soil health maintenance. 

Anyway, the vineyard produces award-winning, English still and sparkling wines that reflect the unique terroir of the London landscape. Grapes like Ortega, Bacchus, and Pinot Noir thrive here. 

Denbies Wine Estate

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Location: Bradley Ln, Dorking RH5 6AA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1306 876616

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Indoor wine-tasting experience – £16.50 per person
  • Outdoor Vineyard Train Tour – £10.50 per person
  • Secret Vineyard Trail – £29.50 per person and includes wine tastings along the way

Website

Denbies boasts an impressive title – it’s the largest single-estate vineyard in England. With a sprawling 265 acres of vine-laden terrain, it’s practically a wine lover’s Narnia. You won’t find any wardrobe portals, but you’ll encounter grape varieties like Chardonnay and Bacchus. 

On top of this, Debies wraps you in a vine-covered embrace of gastronomic delights. Their restaurant, The Gallery, is the place for a restaurant that offers one of the best views in England that reaches over Box Hill and the North Downs!

And for those who want more than just a day visit, Denbies goes above and beyond with accommodations. The Vineyard Hotel offers panoramic views of the vineyards. This ensures that your dreams are filled with visions of rolling hills and endless vines.

Chapel Down

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Location: Chapel Down Vineyard, Small Hythe Rd, Tenterden TN30 7NG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1580 766111

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Vineyard Tour & Tasting – £28 per person
  • Winery Tour & Tasting – £35 per person
  • Sparkling Wine Experience – £45 per person 

Website

Chapel Down has over 500 acres of vineyards planted on ideal south-facing slopes. Their vines benefit from the chalky soil and a mild climate, producing high-quality grapes used to make award-winning English sparkling wines. 

Established in 1977, they have been a pioneer in English winemaking. They grow classic champagne grapes like Pinot Meunier but also experiment with varieties like Ortega and Schönburger for their still wines. 

Fun fact: Chapel Down has won many awards and accolades over the years. Their Kit’s Coty Coeur de Cuvée was served at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and their English rosé won Best in Show at the International Wine Challenge.

Gusbourne Estate

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Location: Kenardington Rd, Appledore, Ashford TN26 2BE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1622 809763

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Vineyard Tour & Tasting – £25 per person
  • Sparkling Wine Tour & Tasting – £35 per person 
  • Private tours – £35 per person (for 8 to 16 people only)

Website

Since planting its first vines in 2004, Gusbourne has rapidly earned acclaim as a producer of premium English sparkling wine. 

Using traditional methods honed in France’s Champagne region, their talented winemaking team crafts elegant, fine-bubbled wines for their complexity, finesse and remarkable consistency vintage-to-vintage. 

Conveniently located just an hour’s train ride from central London, this place welcomes visitors to ramble through picturesque vineyards, tour their state-of-the-art winery, and enjoy relaxed tastings paired with local Kent cheeses. 

Biddenden Vineyard

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Location: Gribble Bridge Ln, Biddenden, Ashford TN27 8DF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1622 809763

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday – 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Self-guided tour – £10 per person 
  • Private tour – £40 per person (minimum of 2 people)

Website

Family-owned for over 50 years, Biddenden pioneered English winemaking by planting their first vines in 1969 when English wine was practically unheard of! Their experience shows in the quality of their wines. 

Beyond wine, they offer so much for visitors. Here, you can explore WW2 history in their underground tunnels carved by Italian POWs and savour their wines with locally sourced foods in The Vines restaurant. 

Bolney Wine Estate

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Location: Foxhole Ln, Bolney, Haywards Heath RH17 5NB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1444 711722

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Classic Vineyard Tour & Tasting – £15 per person 
  • Premium Tour & Tasting – £25 per person 
  • Sparkling Wine Tour & Tasting –  £25 per person 
  • Self-guided Vineyard Walk – Free

Website

Established in 1972, Bolney was one of England’s first commercial vineyards. They helped drive the rise of quality English wines by matching grapes to the country’s soil and climate. They even focus on aromatic white varietals like Pinot Gris and Müller-Thurgau.

Innovation runs through Bolney’s veins. In 2015, they built the UK’s first winery dedicated solely to still wines. The state-of-the-art eco-build houses cutting-edge winemaking technology that bolsters quality. 

Greyfriars Vineyard

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Location: The, Hog’s Back, Puttenham, Guildford GU3 1AG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1483 813712

Opening hours:

  • Thursday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Self-guided tours – Free
  • Tour & Tasting ticket – £22 per person

Website

Established in 1988, Greyfriars embraces tradition while innovating. They pioneered growing Albariño in England and used wild ferments to add complexity. Their meticulous approach has even earned them accolades including a 2015 International Wine Challenge trophy. 

Here, you get to experience a quintessential English wine tasting. The tasting room overlooks stunning vineyards framed by rolling hills. Guests are even encouraged to wander vineyard trails (it’s free!) and appreciate the natural beauty surrounding the estate. 

Ridgeview

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Location: Ditchling Common, Fragbarrow Lane BN6 8TP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1444 242040

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Ridgeview Classic Tour & Tasting – £15 per person
  • Bespoke Private Tour & Tasting – £75 per person

Website

Founded in 1995 by the Roberts Family, Ridgeview pioneered the use of modern winery technology tailored to English conditions. Their customised presses gently extract juices, which minimises tannins and oxidisation. 

Their wines even undergo second fermentation and ageing in their underground cellars to achieve those fine and persistent bubbles that signify premium English fizz. 

This persistence for quality shows in Ridgeview’s trophy case – their sparklers have won over 400 awards, including the prestigious title of English Wine Producer of the Year.

Fairmile Vineyard

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Location: Fair Mile, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2LA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1491 598588

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday & Saturday – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Thursday – 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Classic Vineyard Tour & Tasting – £15 per person
  • Cellar Door Tastings – £10 per person

Website

Tracing its origins to 1185 when monks first planted vines on this site, Fairmile has centuries of history in English viticulture. Today, this boutique vineyard combines tradition with innovation to craft superb still and sparkling wines. 

They even have a boutique that offers you the opportunity to acquire their bestsellers like Classic Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs 2017, Rosé and more. These exquisite wines are available for purchase on-site and can also be ordered online through their website. 

Hambledon Vineyard

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Location: Fair Mile, Henley-on-Thames RG9 2LA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1491 598588

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday & Saturday – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Thursday – 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Classic Vineyard Tour & Tasting – £15 per person
  • Cellar Door Tastings – £10 per person

Website

Nestled amid the undulating hills of Hampshire, Hambledon Vineyard emerges as a distinguished icon. It boasts a heritage that dates back to 1952 when Major-General Sir Guy Salisbury-Jones laid the foundation. The chalky terroir here, forged over 65 million years ago, imparts a unique character to the grapes that’s worth experiencing.

For those seeking a sensorial journey, Hambledon opens its doors to immersive experiences. They have tasting sessions that invite you to explore the diverse nuances of their wines. Plus, they offer guided tours that provide a glimpse into their intricate winemaking process. 

Balfour Winery

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Location: Balfour Winery, Five Oak Ln, Staplehurst, Tonbridge TN12 0HT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1622 832794

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Vineyard Walk – Free
  • Balfour Wine Estate Tour & Tasting – £45 per person
  • Nannette’s Tour, Tasting & Lunch – £60 per person

Website

Founded by Richard and Leslie Balfour-Lynn in 2002, this vineyard has etched its mark on the English winemaking canvas. It’s particularly renowned for its exceptional vintage sparkling varieties. 

In 2007, their Balfour Brut Rosé 2004 clinched a historic gold medal and Trophy at the International Wine Challenge. Since then, they’ve been making a name for themselves in sparkling wines – one you can discover with a self-guided tour that extends from April to October. This allows you to explore the vineyards, apple orchards, and ancient oak woodlands. 

St Martin’s Vineyard and Winery

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Location: Higher Town St Martin’s, Higher Town, Isles of Scilly TR25 0QL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 7936 710262

Opening hours:

  • Monday & Wednesday – 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Self-Guided Tour – Free
  • The self-guided tour and tasting – £10 per person
  • Wine Tasting only – £6 per person

Website

Steeped in rustic charm and committed to eco-friendliness, this gem now finds itself in the capable stewardship of Holly Robbins and James Faulconbridge who inaugurated the boutique winery back in 1996. 

Journeying to St. Martin’s is a departure from the ordinary, it’s an immersion into a realm that borders on the absurdly idyllic. The tours include nine stops and are priced at a remarkably reasonable £10!

Camel Valley

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Location: Nanstallon, Bodmin PL30 5LG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1208 77959

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Grand Tour & Tasting – £45 per person
  • Daily Guided Tour – £18 per person

Website

Born from the passion of former RAF pilot Bob Lindo and his wife Annie, this vineyard sprouted its roots in 1989 with a modest eight thousand vines. Since those humble beginnings, Camel Valley has garnered acclaim by securing victories in various global competitions. 

Now, the role of winemaker has been passed on to their son, Sam Lindo. He carries forward his family’s legacy with a commitment to hard work and meticulous attention to detail. 

What sets this place apart is not just its award-winning wines but the indomitable spirit of its founders and their dedication to an unwavering work ethic. 

Cairn O’Mohr

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Location: East Inchmichael, Errol, Perth PH2 7SP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1821 642781

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Regular Tours – Free

Website

Set aside the notion of traditional grape varietal and immerse yourself in the captivating world of Cairn O’Mohr, where the fermentation process unfolds with an array of fresh fruits, leaves and flowers. 

The farm’s wines boast a diverse selection ranging from bramble, and raspberry, to the unconventional spring oak leaf wine. All of these wines are complemented by a delightful assortment of fruity ciders. 

Established in 1987, there’s no doubt that Cairn O’Morh’s distinction lies in its innovative approach to winemaking. They embrace a vibrant palette of flavours beyond the conventional grape spectrum. 

Giffords Hall Vineyard

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Location: Hartest, Bury St Edmunds, Bury Saint Edmunds IP29 4EX, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1284 830799

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Sunday – 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Grand Guided Tour – £25 per person
  • Gold Vineyard Tour – £44 per person (minimum of 2 pax)
  • Cheese & Wine Vineyard Tour – £49 per person (minimum of 2 pax)
  • Sparkling Vineyard Tour – £60 per person (minimum of 2 pax)

Website

Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of the Stour Valley, Giffords Hall Vineyard emerges as a testament to the Howard family’s passion and commitment to winemaking, spanning over two decades. 

The vineyard offers tailored private guided tours that accommodate groups ranging from intimate gatherings to larger assemblies. 

However, Giffords Hall Vineyard’s commitment extends beyond tours. They actively engage in sustainable practices that contribute to the preservation of the surrounding environment.

Tillingham

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Location: Dew Farm Dew Lane Peasmarsh, Rye TN31 6XD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 1797 208226

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Tuesday – 12:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Wednesday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Guided tour: 

  • Classic Tour & Tasting – £35 per person
  • Tour & Lunch – £70 per person

Website

Tillingham deviates from convention by embracing natural wine with a focus on biodynamic practices. Here, a meticulous tending of 40,000 vines unfolds, each planted with an eco-conscious ethos that eschews the intrusion of machinery. 

Embarking on a 90-minute tour here is a sensory immersion. Their four carefully curated wines will invite you to sip, swirl and delve into the vineyard’s commitment to authentic winemaking. 

But Tillingham offers more than a fleeting visit. Their hop-barn doubles as a distinctive hotel. It’s adorned with farm-chic furnishing that seamlessly blends rustic charm with modern comfort. 

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