Vineyards of Ashford and Tenterden Kent

If you are into your wine, a red, a white or sparkling and planning a short break or a longer vacation, there is one region that should be on your must visit list. Discover more about the vineyards of Ashford and Tenterden Kent.

The vineyards of Ashford and Tenterden in Kent are rapidly growing in popularity in the wine lovers world and fast becoming the home of award winning English wines.

In the recent 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards, which is held over two weeks, has 258 judges and features over 17,000 wines entered from around the world, 19 wines from three of the vineyards within this small region won awards.

Two of the major wine producers, Chapel Down Wines and Gusbourne won 18 between them, with Chapel Down picking up ‘Best in Show’ for their Kits Coty Chardonnay 2016 & 2014 vintages. The third was the much smaller and less well known Woodchurch Wine vineyard, which won a silver for their Blanc de Blancs Brut 2014.

In the Sommelier Wine Awards 2019, Golds were won by Gusbourne and the third generation family run Biddenden Vineyards, who are also celebrating 50 years of wine production this year.

There are five vineyards we are covering here starting with probably the most well known, Chapel Down Wines.

Chapel Down Wine:

Chapel Down is the largest producer in the area. They are a public quoted company with their head office in Tenterden, Kent. Producing a world class range of award winning still and sparkling wines, they also make beers, ciders and their own gin. The vineyards at Tenterden are set in 22 acres of Kentish countryside. As well as the their own grapes they source from vineyards from Essex to Hampshire to produce their wines.

They are open for visits and tours all year round, housing a high quality restaurant and a wine shop. The shop houses their entire range of wines as well as a few exclusives, combined with a range of produce from selected suppliers. You can visit their website here

Gusbourne Estate:

Next up, the Gusbourne Estate, based in Appledore, Kent. The estate dates back to 1410 and was owned by the de Goosebourne family. The family crest featured three geese and each bottle of wine at Gusbourne carries a contemporary goose crest in honour of their heritage. Also a public quoted company, their first wines made a debut in the world in 2010 after they began in 2004.

Their Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2006 & Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2006 received critical acclaim. All their wines are produced solely from their own vineyards. They have 60 hectares witihn Kent and a further 30 hectares in West Sussex. The tasting room is open all year round and no need for appointments. You can however pre-book tours of the Appledore estate.
You can visit their website here.

Biddenden Vineyard:

Covering 23 acres and celebrating 50 years this year, Biddenden Vineyard is the areas oldest modern day vineyard. Started back in 1969 with just 1/3 of an acre, they now grows 11 different types of grape to produce their award winning wines. Originally the farm, still run by the same family, was a 40 acre apple orchard but diversified after listening to a BBC Womens Hour radio show.

They are open all year round and also hold several events to support the local community. Based just on the edge of Biddenden village, you can tour the vineyards and buy from their shop. Selling both locally made produce as well as their own wine, cider and juices. You can also enjoy something to eat and drink within their coffee shop.
You can visit their website here.

Woodchurch Vineyard:

Tucked away in the countryside between Ashford and Tenterden lies the quiet yet delightful village where I was married, Woodchurch. It’s also the home of Woodchurch Vineyard. Producing a small range of sparkling wines, the vineyard has won several awards since being established in 2009 by the current owners. They have a shop which is open every weekend and bank holidays.

You can also book tone of their popular tour and tasting sessions which happen on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Small guided tours and visits by groups during the week by appointment.
You can visit their website here.

The Harbourne Vineyard:

Last but by no means least is the Harbourne Vineyard in Wittersham, near Tenterden. Another family run estate, this year they celebrate 40 years of wine production. Established back in 1979, all their wine is produced using traditional wine making methods. Everything is hand picked and manual basket pressed.

They grow six different types of grape over just one and a half hectares (just under 4 acres). The wines produced are organic and suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. The vineyard operates with great emphasis on the environment. Grass is grown between the vines. No insecticides are used and all skins, pips and prunings are put back into the grounds. The only fertilizer used is manure.

The vineyard produces a number of white, red and rose wines. They have a shop which is open most afternoons.
You can visit the website here.

So when next planning a trip to explore your passion for wine, make sure to include the vineyards of Ashford and Tenterden Kent.

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