English Vineyard Visits in Essex
Having just spent my holidays in my homeland of Essex in the South East of England, I managed to visit three wineries and bought a selection of their wines.
New Hall Vineyards
I had a lovely visit here with my son, there were two very helpful and friendly ladies who showed us around this family-run vineyard.
This was a return after a visit last year. The vineyard is very easy to visit, open 9-4 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays. I bought a mixed half-dozen with two bottles of Baron's Red 2013 (Pinot Noir/Acolon/Rondo blend), one of Baron's Red 2014, A Signature 2014, a Muller-Thurgau and a Chardonnay. Last year I got a Rose sparkling, which was very good. I've already shared the two BR 2013s with friends, the wine is very light, only 10.5% ABV, but utterly delicious. It went fantastically with roasted porchetta. It's between its primary and secondary stages with soft red fruit flavours balanced with some maturer secondary flavours coming in too. The second bottle I drank over the course of 4 days, and by day four it was starting to become a little honeyed and showing its sweeter side. Definitely worth paying a visit.
West Street Vineyard
This is in the town of Coggeshall, North Essex and the vines are planted on the site of a monastic vineyard that was lost with the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII c1532. Local families bought land together, eventually acquiring the original vineyard and land around it.
Unfortunately this was closed for a wedding (it's a restaurant too), but we managed to sneak in and buy a couple of bottles as the wedding party hadn't arrived yet. Sparkling white, grapes grown on site (Champagne blend) and a red (which I suspect may actually be the same as Baron's Red, given that it is grown off site, blended from the same varieties and bottled by New Hall). These bottles have a much swisher design than the ones from New Hall, but it remains to be seen whether there is much difference within!
Difficult to visit, this was my third attempt and the first time anyone was there. They claim to be open daily, but it's a really good idea to phone up and make sure before trekking out to the middle of nowhere. Bought a rose for my GF's father (he's French – she picked it; hope it passes muster!) a white and a red. There's a variety of wines available here, none available to sample when I visited (I think the guy that let me into the shop was a farmhand or something – he was knowledgeable and helpful, but it was clear from various things he said that he didn't normally run the shop himself). Yet to taste.
Submitted April 24, 2017 at 06:18PM by crumpledlinensuit
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