What could better than a ride out on a Motorbike in the South Downs on a warm sunny day? A ride out to the Tinwood Wine Estate in the South Downs on a warm sunny day.
The estate is 8 miles from picturesque Chichester. As a local it makes me wonder how this beautiful vineyard has escaped my attention for so long.
We were greeted by our charming and enthusiastic host, Art. Originally a salad farm, Art’s father became disillusioned with the dealings of large supermarkets and decided on a new crop, grapes.
In 2007 the vineyard was born. The microclimate and the rich chalky soil make the area ideal for growing vines. So perfect are the conditions many vineyards form the Champagne region of France are now buying farms within the South Downs.
Within 9 years Tinwood has grown and excelled at producing sparkling wine and is now ranked as one of the best vineyards in England and Europe.
This year (2016) saw the opening of Lodge accommodation at the vineyard. Guest can rent a luxury lodge to stay in and enjoy a glass of West Sussex’s finest while watching the sun go down over the vines.
After a tour of the vineyards Art explained how the grapes were harvested and the process that created his delicious wine. It was then on to the highlight of the afternoon, the tasting.
The tastefully set out tables and beautiful views of the vines created a wonderful ambiance for out tasting session. The wine portions were generous and after the delightful Blanc de Blanc 100% Chardonnay all the guest were soon relaxed and sharing the experience.
We decided to pay a little extra for local cheese and farm honey. I would recommend this as it went beautifully with the wine.
Next up was the Brut, 50% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 20% Pinot Meunier, this is a wine to rival any champagne I’ve ever tried.
The final Wine Rose, was like summertime in a glass, raspberry, strawberries and cream.
After the tasting we were left to relax in the sun and buy further glasses of our personal favourite, for me that was the Rose. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. We will be back though very soon, mind you there’s quite a few other Vineyards hidden in the South Downs, here’s to a long sunny summer.
Article by Antoinette Short