The best vineyards in Berkshire to visit this summer

It may be one of the smaller UK wine regions but Berkshire is home to a growing number of vineyards making exceptional wine. What better way to soak up the summer sun than ambling through the vineyards of Berkshire and sampling some of the county’s finest wines?

There’s no doubt that English wine is starting to have its time in the sun. An increasing number of vineyard owners believe England can produce sparkling wine to match the very best from Champagne. With English Wine Week on the horizon, we’ve rounded up our four favourite vineyards in Berkshire for you to test out that theory.

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Stanlake Park Wine Estate, Twyford

The oldest vineyard in Berkshire is also one of the oldest wine producers in England. The first 500 vines were planted at Stanford Park in 1979 by the then-owner Jon Leighton on his return from Australia. Nowadays, the vineyards occupy 10% of the 130-acre estate with a surprisingly large range of grape varieties.

If you’re game for wandering through the Berkshire countryside, a wine tour and tasting is a must. The knowledgeable team behind Stanlake Park pride themselves on fun and friendly wine tours that everyone will enjoy - not just wine connoisseurs. If walking isn't for you, head to the wine shop - a redecorated Victorian greenhouse that overlooks a charming 16th-century walled garden.

Today, the estate is led by Italian winemaker Nico Centonze, who combines the knowledge of five generations of Italian viticulturalists with an international, modern approach. Visit the Stanley Park Wine Estate website to book a tour or try a sample from their online shop.

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Alder Ridge Vineyard, Hungerford

Nestled on the chalky slopes of the North Wessex Downs AONB, Alder Ridge Vineyard began in 2011 with 5 acres of high-graft Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. After receiving international recognition and awards in 2013, the vineyard expanded into two more acres with two new grape varieties.

Like many vineyards in Berkshire, Alder Ridge specialise in (award-winning) sparkling wine. Their flagship Blanc de Noirs is a delicious local alternative to Champagne and not to be missed. All Alder Ridge wines can be bought direct from the vineyard’s online shop.

If you can round up a group of 10, enjoy a private tour and tasting between May and September. Otherwise, join a public tour and see if you can spot the emblematic Red Kite overhead as you wander through the truly scenic North Wessex Downs.

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All Angels Vineyard, Enborne

Taking its name from the local parish church, All Angels Vineyard also began in 2011 with a mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris. Since then, the vineyard has expanded with early fruiting Rondo, Holtwood and a dedicated vineyard of pure Chardonnay, bringing the total size to an impressive 6 hectares.

As a member of the Sustainable Wine of Great Britain Group, All Angels takes sustainability seriously. The family-run venture has made great efforts to encourage greater local biodiversity, carbon capturing and connection with the land. And you’ll find this reflected in the quality of the wine.

Discover this for yourself on a tour of the vineyard and surrounding countryside. Taste All Angels’ award-winning range while standing on the soil that has created one of the best vineyards in Berkshire. Or if you can’t wait until then, head to their online shop.

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Winding Wood Vineyard, Hungerford

For a smaller, more intimate vineyard experience, head to Berkshire’s west corner and discover Winding Wood. It’s all about quality over quantity here with just 3,000 vines of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay separated into two small fields. The yield may be low but the quality is very high. Their 2016 classic cuvée claimed gold from WineGB and last year, the 2018 wines gathered one gold and four silvers between them.

Staying purposely small, Winding Wood is one of the most sustainably-focused vineyards in Berkshire. Currently transitioning to become fully organic, owners Christopher and Robert are committed to a biodynamic approach toward their vines and the land. This means rejecting synthetic chemicals and embracing regenerative growing methods.

Book on to a tour and tasting at this boutique vineyard and one of the owners themselves will be your guide. Savour traditionally made English sparkling wine from an 18th-century barn overlooking the vines and enjoy the sunshine.

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Relax (and recover) at Donnington Grove

After an afternoon exploring some of the best vineyards in Berkshire, there’s no better place to rest your head than Donnington Grove. Centrally situated in Newbury, our distinctive Strawberry Hill Gothic mansion will be your very own luxury country retreat.

When you’re not out exploring sun-kissed vineyards, take a wander through the 500 acres of magnificent countryside on the Donnington estate. Enjoy a round of golf on Donnington’s 18-hole championship golf course or seek out the abundant wildlife and scenic River Lambourn. The day is yours.