My birthday present from Angie this year was a visit to the Three Choirs vineyard, complete with tour, tasting, overnight stay in a lodge amongst the vines and a meal.
First the tour. From memory (nothing on the website) the vineyard is the second largest in England and has been going 40 years. Over 40 different varieties of grape are grown with an active replacement programme as the wines become less productive. Most of the wines produced are whites for early drinking so there is no need for ‘vielle vignes’. We spent some time in the fields then moved to the winery where the wine-making process was explained. Our (Polish) guide was very helpful to those unfamiliar with the process. Of the wines tasted I liked the Siegerebbe 2012 which was dry and spicy. Their sparkling wine was rather short, with a fast fading mousse. We also tried a red, Ravens Hill, made from Rondo and Triomphe D’Alsace grapes, both new to me. A small amount of pinot is also made, only available in the restaurant. With our meal a Bacchus was very drinkable, although I prefer the Flint Dry made by Chapel Down. Probably the best tried was their rosé which was a perfect aperitif. All the wines are low alcohol – around 11.5%.
Our overnight stop was in a charming lodge with great views and very peaceful. The meal (in the on-site restaurant) was good – well presented with some interesting choices. Also worth a visit if you are in the area is the nearby village of Newent, an old fashioned market town.
A very pleasant break – recommended.