11 places to enjoy a vineyard tour and wine tasting in Norfolk and Suffolk
- Credit: Antony Kelly
Shotley Vineyard, near Ipswich
The 16-acre Shotley Vineyard is home to 15,000 vines, where Bacchus, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Auxerrois, Rondo, Ortega, Seyval Blanc and Reichensteiner grapes ripen in the sun.
Take a ramble – and drink in the views – on a guided tour followed by a tutored tasting, which includes their Bacchus and Pinot Noir.
There is the option to stay for something to eat by adding a grazing box or afternoon tea.
Plus, during the summer the vineyard is hosting pop-ups by the likes of Que and Hollar smokehouse and Taste of Naples Pizza, and on the last Friday of the month there’s a Surprise Supper Club, showcasing local, wild ingredients in collaboration with Jessica Noy, aka The Gamekeeper’s Daughter.
Babu’s Vineyard, Weston Longville
Babu’s Vineyard was planted on an acre of land by Peter Ross as a retirement project in 2009 – and he makes award-winning wines in his back-garden winery too.
The vineyard is planted with mostly Solaris and Rondo vines, with the grapes used to make whites and rosés.
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A tour with a tasting is £15, with lunch an additional £10.
Bespoke tours can also be arranged - dates are available upon request.
And if you’d like to get even more involved and help with the harvest in September, with a Gallic picker’s lunch included, contact Peter via their website to sign up.
Winbirri Vineyard, Surlingham, near Norwich
Discover which grapes thrive in East Anglian soil, how they are cared for and how they’re turned into award-winning wines on a tour of Winbirri Vineyard with head winemaker, Lee Dyer.
Its Winbirri Bacchus was the world’s top white wine made from a single grape variety in 2017 – and its eagerly-anticipated 2021 vintage was released earlier this month.
Other grape varieties grown across its 34 acres include Chardonnay, Solaris, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Dornfelder, Rondo and Regent.
Lee will explain how to turn grapes into white, red and English sparkling wine - finishing, of course, with a chance to sample a selection of Winbirri wines.
Tours are £27.50 per person, and guests can add cheese and charcuterie platters to pair with their wine.
The pretty Wine Garden Bar is also open at weekends from 11am-5pm for guests to enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the vines which produced them.
Copdock Hall, near Ipswich
The owners of Copdock Hall, near Ipswich, describe it as a ‘boutique vineyard’.
On their half an acre they grow two white grapes, Bacchus and Solaris, which are blended for their white wine, Foster’s Fate, and the dark-skinned grape Rondo, which goes into their still rosé.
They also make a rosé fizz, Tudor Rose, and produce their own gin, Queen Bess, which is infused with Copdock Hall grapes to give it a sweeter, fruity flavour and pink tinge.
Wine tours, talks and tastings are available – and can be packaged with afternoon tea or light lunches.
Chet Valley Vineyard, Bergh Apton
Based on a traditional family farm, Chet Valley Vineyard produces award-winning sparkling, white and rosé wines.
One of Norfolk’s first commercial winemakers, John Hemmant takes visitors through every aspect of viticulture and wine-making, from planting the vines to sipping the wines.
Tours are held between April and October and cost £25 per person. They last for two hours and include a tutored tasting of five Chet Valley Vineyard wines.
Guests can add a lunch platter too – choose from a meat and cheese platter featuring Marsh Pig charcuterie, a fish platter from Bunnings or a vegetarian/vegan platter.
They also offer luxury picnics for two (including Chet Valley Vineyard wine, of course) or you could also make a stay of it in the Vine House, a characterful retreat in a converted stable building, surrounded by the vines themselves.
Valley Farm Vineyards, Wissett near Halesworth
Nestled in the Suffolk countryside, Valley Farm Vineyards specialises in growing grape varieties for still and sparkling white and rosé wines – Madeleine Angevine, Pino Gris, Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
Tours of this eight-acre site with its 3,000 renovated vintage vines include a 90-minute guided walk around the vines and wine tasting for £25.
A longer tour and tasting for £30 gives visitors the chance to bring their own picnic too.
If you want your picnic provided, plus the full tour and tasting, tickets are £40.
And there’s also the option to enjoy a tour and tasting followed by cooking your own bespoke wood-fired pizza for £45.
You can also stay in their charming cabin-in-the-vines, the Grape Escape.
Flint Vineyard, Earsham, near Bungay
Wine tours are one of the specialities of the award-winning Flint Vineyard at Earsham, near Bungay.
The vineyard was established in 2016 and guided tours run on Wednesdays and Saturdays through the summer and into September.
The tour takes in the vineyards and purpose-built winery where the mysteries of wine-making are revealed, and end with the all-important tasting session where you get to sample the Bacchus, Silex Blanc, Pinot Noir Precoce and Charmat Rosé.
Guided tours are £25, or £49.50 including lunch.
Alternatively, the Cellar Door shop and tasting room is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm.
Shawsgate Vineyard, near Framlingham
Take a tour of one of East Anglia’s oldest commercial vineyards, which produces a range of whites, reds, rosés and English sparkling wines.
Guided tours can be bought as gifts for the wine-lover in your life and include a vineyard tour and tasting lasting almost two hours (£33 for two), or a four-hour experience day with lunch, (£86 for two).
The tours run on Saturdays in July, August and September.
Humbleyard Vineyard, Mulbarton
Humbleyard has 10,000 vines planted in eight acres, producing white, rosé and sparkling wines.
The first vines were planted in 2010 on the site of an orchard and there are now nine varieties, including Solaris, Bacchus, Rondo and Pinot Noir.
Its vineyard tours and tastings, which include wine and nibbles, run from July to September.
While most of this summer’s tours are already fully booked, maps for self-guided tours are available from the farm shop, which is open Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm.
Burn Valley Vineyard, North Creake
On Burn Valley Vineyard's 12 acres, they’ve got 17,000 vines, and grow nine different varieties, which thrive in their chalky soil – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Bacchus, Solaris, Sable Blanc, Regent, Rondo and Sayval.
They hold wine tastings in their marquee on Thursdays to Sundays at 11am or 2pm between April and September.
It costs £25, which includes tasters of up to six Burn Valley wines, plus a seafood, charcuterie or cheese platter with bread, oils or olives.
There are also regular meet the winemaker tastings (from £45), which include a guided tour of the winery and vineyard with one of their winemakers, an in-depth tasting and a platter.
Their popular steak nights and not-so-secret suppers are already sold out for the summer season, but any last-minute availability will be posted online.
Giffords Hall, Bury St Edmunds
Giffords Hall is a family-owned vineyard planted on the site of an ancient glacial riverbed.
Planted more than 25 years ago, the vines are now in their prime and each vintage is produced in small batch tanks and barrels.
You can learn all about the growing and winemaking process and sample some of their wines and liqueurs on one of their group tours (£25), which are held monthly during the summer.
Private tours can be arranged, with the option of adding a cheese board.