Fancy a vineyard tour and a spot of wine tasting without having to take a trip over to the continent? Then head over to The Suffolk Coast. You’ll be surprised to know that we give Alsace and Bordeaux a run for their money!
Perhaps that statement is a little presumptuous, however the terroir and mild climate of East Anglia are particularly favourable for wines. Bacchus is widely grown as it prefers a drier climate and most recently growers have been planting Pinot Noir. Bacchus and Madeleine Angevine are becoming our signature English vine varieties producing distinctive East Anglian flavours.
One such vineyard is Shawsgate near the Suffolk town of Framlingham where visitors are welcome to do a ‘DIY’ Vineyard Trail at their own leisure. There is no charge to do this and staff will provide you with an information sheet and vineyard map so you don’t get lost!
The vineyard encourages visitors at any time to watch the seasons change and it makes a lovely walk no matter what time of year you choose to go. You may even catch sight of some of the wildlife and birds that also call Shawsgate home. Dogs are welcome too as long as they are on a lead and accompanied by responsible owners.
Book a Tour & Tasting lasting 1 hour 45 minutes or a 4 hour experience day which includes lunch. Places are in high demand so check in advance for availability.
When it comes to wine tasting, few of us consider ourselves as true experts and simply base our assessment on flavour and aroma.
Those who are more knowledgeable suggest it’s vital that we make sure the wine is at the correct temperature, taste it away from strong aromas like perfume and keep the palette neutral by steering clear of strong flavoured foods beforehand. You’ll be pleased to know that it really isn’t necessary to spit it out either!
There’s not much you can teach the locally based and internationally renowned company Adnams about alcoholic beverages. They have been brewing beer since 1872 and now make hand-crafted spirits and import fine wines!
A visit and a tour of their distillery in Southwold is a must and, maybe, a little shopping expedition to one of their many stores in Suffolk where you can rely on the expertise of their staff when choosing your tipple! Alternatively, book up to wine and dine at one of Adnams top notch Suffolk Coast hotels.
Over at Valley Farm Vineyards near the pretty market town of Halesworth, Vanessa and Elaine welcomes visitors to their mature vineyard. If you turn up and they are open then you can take the self-guided tour complete with your own map (It’s a good idea to ring beforehand though to avoid disappointment). Afterwards enjoy a chat and a tasting - The 2015 Madeleine Angevine will be chilled and ready for you!!!
If you are a group of 6 or more contact Valley Farm Vineyards to arrange a private tutored tour and tasting session. The tour typically takes an hour with Vanessa, which includes a walk of 1.5 km followed up by a tasting session, with Elaine, of two wines.
Here’s an idea for a great day out – Travel to Halesworth by public transport, take the challenging circular walk calling in at Valley Farm Vineyards for a tour and taste en-route!