Cellar Door Wine Tour
3 Vineyards, 12 wines, Lunch, and a Whole Lot of Fun!
Departs from London Bridge
from £125 p/p
DROP IN AND TASTE AT THE CELLAR DOOR
from £125 p/p
Day Trips that Depart from Central London
“This tour exceeded our expectations. It is a great alternative to sightseeing in London. The three wineries were all interesting and very different to each other, so we were able to taste a variety of wines of differing prices.” – Heather (posted on TripAdvisor)
“We were planning a trip of just over a week to London and in searching for day excursions we came across wine tasting tours. We were intrigued as we had no prior knowledge of any wine industry in England. We had a lovely day trip out to wine country.” – Emily (TripAdvisor)
HERE’S THE DETAILS OF YOUR WINE TOUR
Our Cellar Door English Wine Tour gives you an insight into the English Wine industry and gives you the opportunity to visit four award winning vineyards on the day for a guided tasting at the Cellar Door. Your English Wine Expert Tour guide will take you to a variety of contrasting vineyards so you can see our large producers right through to a boutique and small producer.
You’ll learn all about the English Wine industry as you drive through picturesque towns and villages and uncover the UK’s rich history in fruit farming and local produce. Wine tour includes a seasonal lunch of local delights and of course a glass of English Wine.
Tours visit Kent, Sussex and Surrey. Vineyards vary depending on date booked
History, Background and Live Narrative
Your wine tour will depart promptly from central London, the English Grounds near London Bridge Station so please arrive for 8:45 to ensure a prompt departure at 9:00am. The day will be loaded information as your wine exploration journey will take about 1hr 40minutes to arrive at the first vineyard. Not to worry, we provide a live narrative on the way down that gives you more context about the English wine industry, plus you’ll get to enjoy the scenic English countryside views along the way. Our English wine tour guide is an expert in the industry, who will tell you about the history of English wine since the Roman invasion, the significance of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and explain who are the movers and shakers in the English wine industry since the birth of modern English wine that started in the 1950s. You will learn about yield and production levels, what grape varietals are grown and even how much money it takes to start a vineyard in England.
The North Downs and Chapel Down Vineyard
Traveling out of London and across the chalk soil of the Kent North Downs we will make our way through beautiful English countryside. You will see former 15th century shipbuilding port known as the hamlet of Small Hythe were we will explore the vineyard and learn about English viticulture. Then we head to their tasting room for a guided tasting of their range of English sparkling and still wines. There will be plenty of time to wonder around and browse the wine shop after the tasting.
Small Producer Experience – Woodchurch Vineyard
Planted in 2009, Woodchurch Estate is a small and unique vineyard where we will meet the producer to understand all the hard work that goes into starting a vineyard. Woodchurch specialises in sparkling wine where they have 9 acres of vineyard that produce a classic cuvée, a sparkling rosé, and a delicious blanc de blancs. They have also just released a still chardonnay. You will have a guided wine tasting with the producer and time for purchases.
Food at the The Bull Inn – A Country Pub Lunch
Enjoy a delicious lunch made with local produce and love in this charming traditional English Pub in the village of Benenden. Recorded in the Doomsday Book in 1086 Benenden is steeped in industrial history for both iron-making and cloth-making since the 14th century. The Bull Inn is a traditional old English pub where you can choose from a selection of light lunches all served with a glass of English Wine.
Boutique Vineyard Experience – Herbert Hall Winery
The last stop of the day will be a very lovely vineyard who only produce 2 or 3 sparkling wines, but very nice wines. Herbert Hall is owned by Nick Hall who has around 20-acres of vineyard. We will taste in the vineyard and able to visit the winery and most days we get to meet the wine-maker.
OUR Cellar door WINE TOUR
Wine Tour Duration:
Itinerary – Example for a Kent Cellar Door Tour
- Industry insights, production levels
- Meet the Producer
- Guided tasting at the wine bar – 5 wines
- Sparkling and still wines
- Time for wine purchases
- Guided tasting at the wine bar – 6 wines
- Mix and match, sparkling and still wines,
- English gin or Curious Brew beer can be included in the 6 tastes
- Time for shopping and wine purchases
- Delicious lunch with seasonal local fayre
- Served with English wine
- Sparkling wine only
- Meet the winemaker
- Taste 2 wines at Bar HH
- Enjoy the views and grab some photos
This itinerary is subject to change as the cellar door tour may also go to either Kent, Sussex, or Surrey/Hampshire as we are only dropping in to taste at the wine bar. See more vineyards, taste more wine.
Where do you pick up from in London?
We pick up guests from central London at a bus stand in front of Southwark Crown Court. The pick up point is on the south side of the Thames River near London Bridge Station, which has both Tube and Overground trains. Departure Point:
What is exactly included on this wine tour?
- Our fun and informative expert English Wine Tour Guide for the day
- Sample an array of award winning English Wines (12 wines)
- Drop-in, taste at the bar or barrels, time for shopping, and the move to the next vineyard
- We pay for all tasting fees in advance with the vineyard
- Guided Wine Tastings, sometimes by the producer
- Delicious locally sourced lunch, served with a glass of English Wine
- Goodie Bag – Souvenir Branded English Wine Tasting Tours Jute Bag
- Bag of English Crisps and a bottle of Water
- Return travel from London in luxury mini-coach or van (Mercedes)
- Air-conditioned for transport for your comfort
- Learn how to taste wine like a pro
Do you have vegetarian options for lunch?
Of course we do. We make all attempts to meet all dietary requirements, including vegetiarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and more. We use food partners, pubs or cafes, to provide excellent quality food for our guests. If you have booked a wine tour, you will receive a lunch order form by email for your food requirements. The lunch order form (web form) will give you a chance to state any dietary requirements or food allergies which we will pass onto the food provider. Keep in mind that most pubs or cafes will not guarantee a nut free restaurant.
How big are the groups on the wine tours?
Our group size can vary from week to week but our maximum public tour group is less that 26, but most of the time we average groups of 12 – 18 guests. Don’t worry, everyone loves wine so its easy to make friends! Wine is something that connects us all.
Does the tour run regardless of the weather?
Weather is something that we love to discuss in England but it never stops us from “carrying on”. We advise guests to dress appropriately and if necessary wear or bring jackets or jumpers, practical shoes, perhaps an umbrella if rain is forecasted. We do try and venture into the vineyard and are outdoors at times.
What vineyards will I visit on the day?
Vineyards are always subject to change from the stated schedule. All vineyards are booked in advance but occasionally last minute changes do happen. Due to customer feedback we have started visiting smaller vineyards where you will have a chance to possibly meet the producer. We may visit a larger producer also. Keep in mind that all English vineyards are small in relative “wine production” terms.
How sustainable are we as a wine tour operator?
We have a Green Tourism badge and by offering group travel in a coach we are more sustainable than a self-drive wine tourist. Because we travel in and out of London our coaches have to be extermely clean for emission standards as London now has an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). Most of the coaches we use are Euro4 or Euro6 standard! We hope to move to electric coaches in the near future but coaches are heavy things to move around at present and the technology needs to advance so that we can been even more green. Our souvenir jute bags are reusuable and we recycle as much as possible. We are always trying to find new ways to be more sustainable.
What type of wine will I try on the day?
If you only drink big bolshy reds…then English wine probably isn’t for you! (;-) But if you have a place in your palette for award winning sparkling wine, delicate whites, dry rosé and pinot noir reds then you will love English wine. Our wine region is a “cool climate” which means we have higher acidity which makes us fantastic at making sparkling wine and predominantly we grow mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Nearly 70% of everything we produce is sparkling wine. England started its wine industry growing Germanic wines in the 1950s and some vineyards still have those grape varietals today so when possible we try to make sure that you get to try some of those wines which are of interest. We don’t have restrictions on what grapes we can grow here so we are different than France or Italy (old world) wine regions and we encourage guests to try new wines and come explore with us.
Is this tour for experienced wine connoisseurs?
We cater to different levels of wine education on our tours. If you want to discuss English oenology or viticulture in more depth our tour guides can definately help to answer your questions. We try to keep the information on the day informative and presented at a level for all but please do ask questions if you want a more detailed answer. We love curious minds!
What type of coaches or vans to you use?
Our coaches are new or late models within a couple of years old. London emission standards requires us to continuously update our coaches. We partner with reputable coach companies on a contractual basis to keep a high standard of vehicle. All of our coaches have leather seats, full air-conditioning and heating, and we have reliable well-trained drivers. If we use a mini-van for groups of 8-people or less, then our vehicle is a Mercedes-Benz, full leather, with air-conditioning.
Wine tour guides or coach drivers?
We offer wine tour experiences verses a coach operator that offers wine tour journeys. Our wine tour guides are experts in English wine so we chaperone verses chauffeur and also provide the education and history regarding our wine industry.