Wine estates come alive at this time of year, as juicy grapes are plucked from their vines and sent to the winery for pressing and fermenting, before being turned into our favourite vinos.
While a few vineyards will close over the autumn months, many celebrate the harvest season with exclusive winery tours and tastings.
Some estates even ask for volunteers to help pick the grapes, which can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience – especially as your hard work will often culminate with you enjoying a glass of sparkling wine.
Having started in late September this year, harvest in the UK lasts for just over a month, so now is an ideal opportunity to plan a visit to the vineyards dotted across England, to learn more about harvesting and winemaking.
Sip your way around England’s vineyards
With many of the country’s vineyards located in the South East, we’ve hand-picked a selection to visit.
Oxney Organic Estate
Location: Rye, East Sussex
Harvest has already begun at East Sussex’s Oxney, which is famous for making some of the best organic wines in the country – here, the 35 acres of vines produce around 20 per cent of all organic grapes grown in the UK. Oxney’s tour and tasting season started on 6 May this year, and will finish on 28 October.
Location: Puttenham, Surrey
Surrey-favourite Greyfriars is running tours in November, when you’ll have the opportunity to taste the new 2023 wines straight from the tank.
Location: Chicester, West Sussex
Family-owned Tinwood Estate, in the heart of Sussex, has put together the ultimate harvest package. Start the day with some light picking, as the winemakers guide you through how they hand-select the best grapes for every single one of their wines. You’ll then be given a three-course rustic harvest buffet, paired with three sparkling wines.