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Wineries and Vineyards Southeast of London

Updated on July 8, 2015

English Vineyards Do Exist!

Grapes at Denbies Vineyard Dorking.
Grapes at Denbies Vineyard Dorking. | Source

Winery Tours Within One Hour Drive of London

Visiting London? You might want to go on a tour of English Vineyards within a one hour drive. All offer tasting tours, have fantastic restaurants on site and of course the opportunity to purchase a bottle or two of their wines. Whether you just want a great day out, or the chance to stock your cellar, there are some gorgeous boutique vineyards close to London.

Denbies Winery Dorking

Denbies Wine Estate lies in the foothills of Dorking near Box Hill, and overlooks the route of the London Olympic Road Cycling Race. Wine tasting tours are offered year round, with the opportunity to go on the "Outdoor Vineyard Train" from March to September. This is the UKs largest vineyard, at 265 acres and makes for a spectacular day out.

The beautiful flint and chateux style building is home to the Garden Restaurant, and local farm shop where you can buy local and organic produce. There is a variety of wine tour options including wine and food together, and wine and chocolate.

Denbies is open daily from approximately 11-4pm and it is recommended to book online via their website. Tour costs range from £9.50 to £15.

Jenkyn Place Vineyard Hampshire

The Hampshire and Surrey home counties are natural homes for sparkling wines due to the geology of the soil, which is high in lime. English sparkling wines are winning many local and international awards for their stunning quality.

Jenkyn Place Vineyard has planted the classic grape varieties used to make champagne, includinhg pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. The soil is almost identical to the Champagne region of France and their sparkling Brut graces the tables of the Ivy Restaurant in London.

With the third vintage in 2012 (from 2008 bottling); Sparkling Brut and Sparkling Rose, collectors will want to get their hands on one of only 8000 bottles. This new vineyard, begun in 2004 is truly boutique, with wine tasting tours held inside a delightful Queen Anne style converted dairy house.

Jenkyn Place Vineyard is available to visit by contacting them. Details are on their website.

Bobby the dog from Greyfriars Vineyard.
Bobby the dog from Greyfriars Vineyard. | Source

Greyfriars Vineyard Guildford

This winery has been recently taken over by Mike and Hilary Wagstaff who decided the corporate life in Scotland was worth trading for running a vineyard in the Surrey Hills. They aim to upgrade Greyfriars from a cottage vineyard to a commercial scale outfit by investing in vines and infrastructure. Last year they planted 13,000 new vines in one day.

They aim to make a good english sparkling wine, not a champagne copy, and can take advantage of the same regional and climate conditions as the famous region in France has. With open days planned for 2012 and onwards, the new Greyfriars Vineyard is hosting free tasting days and the opportunity to try to hopefully purchase their delightful sparkling wine which is a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir grapes.

Greyfriars Vineyard is not open for tours, but you can arrange to visit them and taste/buy wine. They are happy to show you around if it is at a convenient time. Look to the website for open days where free tastings and tours are on offer.

Albury Organic Vineyard

Behind the attraction of Silent Pool on the A25, and also near the London Olympic Road Race route, lies 15 acres where organic wine is being cultivated. The owner, Nick Wenman has hired viticulturalist Alex Valsecchi from RHS Wisley, which does a lot of work in the organic area, to manage the vineyard.

Given the location of the vineyard is in the North Downs, and has the same chalky ground perfect for the classic champagne grape varieties, Albury Vineyard is aiming to have its first sparkling wine ready for 2014. They have just perfected their Albury Organic Sparkling Rose wine, which caters for lower alcohol users at 10% content.

The vineyard does not use copper and sulphur even though it is allowed in organic viticulture, and prefers a method known as compost teas to improve the biology of the soil. The Albury Organic Vineyard is one to watch, and might let you visit and quiz them about the organic viticulture if you are passionate about that kind of agriculture too. Open days and tours are in the pipeline, and you can keep up to date with the vineyard on their website and of course, purchase some wine if you happen to be visiting them.

Gold IWC for Denbies Rose Wine

It's Official English Wineries Are World Class

This pocket of Surrey contains the equivalent geography of the Champagne region of France. I encourage you to investigate next time you are in London and taste some lovely wine. Within one hour and a nice drive, the town of Guildford is a great middle point for Denbies, Albury and Greyfriars, with Hampshire's Jenkyn Vineyard worth doing on your way back. Enjoy sparkling english wines!

English Winery Locations

show route and directions
A markerGU5 9AE -
Albury, Surrey GU5 9AE, UK
get directions

Albury Organic Vineyard; Weston Lodge, The Street, Albury, Surrey, GU5 9AE

B markerGU3 9AE -
Guildford, Surrey GU3, UK
get directions

Greyfriars Vineyard (next door to Hogs Back Brewery if you are also an "ale" fan) - Hogs Back, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1AG

C markerGU10 5LU -
Bentley, Hampshire GU10 5LU, UK
get directions

Jenkyn Place Vineyard; Hole Lane, Bentley, Hampshire, GU10 5LU

D markerRH5 6AA -
Dorking, Surrey RH5 6AA, UK
get directions

Denbies Wine Estate; London Road, Dorking Surrey RH5 6AA

E markerLondon -
London, UK
get directions

London to Denbies, point D is 47 minutes according to Google Maps.

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  • Imogen French profile image

    Imogen French 5 years ago from Southwest England

    Very interesting - I've been meaning to get round to trying some proper English wines, having only tried the home made "country" varieties such as elderflower or blackberry wines. I have heard good things about the sparkling white wines. Thanks for the info

  • discovery2020 profile image

    WILLIAM EVANS 5 years ago from TEXAS

    Nice article, Eliza. Continue the good work.

  • charmike4 profile image

    Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

    I had no idea that there were wineries in the UK yet alone in SE England. I'll be travelling through here shortly, so I'll make sure that I pop into one or two. Cheers Michael

  • ElizaDoole profile image
    Author

    Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

    @imogen and @ discovery - thanks for the comments. Yes the wineries in the particular chalky soil region of Surrey and the SE/SW of England are quite new, apart from Denbies which is well kitted out for wine tours.

    @charmike4 - check the websites of the smaller vineyards mentioned. They will let you come and visit and probably show you around if you email them with notice. Have fun and pop back and let us know how you got on.

  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

    Fascinating - I'm ready to go visit! Voted up and shared on FB and Twitter.

  • Robin profile image

    Robin Edmondson 5 years ago from San Francisco

    I love your map with a route to see all the wineries outside of London! I didn't know about any of these wineries. This will be useful for those traveling to London for the Olympics that want to go wine tasting! Albury organic winery sounds particularly interesting!

  • alliemacb profile image

    alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

    I've had English wine in the past and it was really good but have never visited the vineyards. Will definitely check this out next time I'm down south.

  • ElizaDoole profile image
    Author

    Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

    Thanks habee, Robin and allie. I just found out last night watching UK Apprentice with Sir Alan Sugar and the competitors that next Wednesday the task involves making a video for english sparkling wine. It could be the next big thing. The vineyard prices are all cheaper than the shops too so we are going to Greyfriars on June 16 for their open day of free tasting and tours if anyone is around - get in touch.

  • Mmargie1966 profile image

    Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

    Beautiful! I love, love, love wine! I don't know as much about it as I'd like to, but I'm learning. I don't recall having English wine, however. Hmmmm...I'll have to have a try. I only wish I could go to London to experience these wineries you speak of.

  • profile image

    summerberrie 5 years ago

    Wine tasting is a fun hobby. Not many wineries here on the east coast- some in NC, but wine and cheese tasting shops are becoming popular. Enjoyed reading your hub!

  • ElizaDoole profile image
    Author

    Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

    Me too Margie! There is nothing more satisfying than getting a good bottle of wine. I always feel very lucky as for me it is more trial and error than technique. Am trying to get kitted up in my old age he he.

    @summerberrie - please investigate? You never know there just might be a cottage wine industry in your area. When I travel I like nothing better than to get out to the countryside for a day or two if I am on a city break. Wineries and breweries are always tempting don't you think?

  • Global-Chica profile image

    Anna 5 years ago from New York, NY

    Eliza, I had no idea that there are vineyards in England and don't think I've ever seen a bottle made there so I learned something truly fascinating. I haven't been to London yet but when I do go, I'll refer back to your awesome wineries guide and will visit them!

  • ElizaDoole profile image
    Author

    Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

    HiGlobal Chica! Hope it is nice where you are. Today in the UK it is hot and summery. Perfect for a day at the wineries I've mentioned. Definitely go and try some English Sparkling Wine! The south of England, just out of London, is lovely - the stuff of postcards!

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