Holidays and a glass of wine go hand in hand,but you don’t have to be lapping up the Mediterranean sun or indulging in a sunset over the Atlantic to enjoy the taste ofsome great vintages in a relaxed environment. The UK has some amazing vineyards and they’reproducing a diverse range of wines that are, today,holding their own among their more famous European counterparts. Dorset is an up and coming county when it comes to viticulture and is a wonderful spot to visit if you’re looking for a short break that doesn’t involves overseas travel. |
Dorset weekend breaks are particularly attractive to people looking to explore the region’s natural beauty, but if you also have a fondness fora glass of something specialwe highly recommend you visit at least one local vineyard while you’re there. Here are some excellent ones to consider.
Langham Wine Estate
This beautiful estate grows threevarieties of the Champagne grape: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The location was carefully chosen for its south facing chalky, clay slopes, which replicate those of the Champagne region in France and the sparklingvintages produced from their vines are recognised on a global scale. Top recommendations are theClassic Cuvée, Rosé 2013, and the Blanc de Blanc 2011.
At this pretty little vineyard you can look forward to a small group tour that takes you around the two vineyardsand 22,000 vines. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Bacchus, Dunkelfelder and Rondo vines are the baseof the white, red, roséand sparkling varieties made here. On the tour you’ll learn how the wine is made, where it is stored and fermented and much more. In just one afternoon you are transported into the life of a winemaker - and it’s a fascinating experience from start to finish.
Tours run every Friday and Saturday (and Thursdays in August) and culminate in a wonderful tasting in the beautifully renovated barn, once a working farm building. Accompanied by nibbles, the wine is superbly presented and accompanied by a detailed explanation. You’ll enjoy sampling the Sea Pink, a Bacchus Fumé and the Sparkling Rosé 2010, among others.
Melbury Vale Winery
South facing hills provide the ideal platform for the perfect vine growingconditions at the family-owned Melbury Vale Winery. Set on a 28-acre plot in the picturesque Stirkel Valley, it produces a sparkling white and rosé, as well as a still rosé, white and red.
A relatively young vineyard, Portesham was establishedon south facing clay loam slopes, which benefit from a limestone substrate-emulating the famous slopes of the Chablis region, in France. When you’re in Dorset and looking for a bottle that really stands out, we can recommend you try the Coastal Dry, Coastal Red and Pink produced here.
English Oak Vineyard
If you’re a fine wine aficionado, this is the place to visit.Here, the Pharoah family produce elegant sparkling winecreated by blending classic grape varieties, with an intention to replicate the characteristics of the most prestigious of all sparkling wines -Champagne. The three impressivebottles to taste here are the Engelmann Cuvee 2013, Chinkapin Rose 2013 and San Gabriel Blancs De Blanc 2010.
Dorset weekend breaks offer you the perfect opportunity to visit a winery or two in this gorgeous county.Hopefully the selection we have chosen above has whetted your appetite for some of the UK’s wonderful vintages.
Michael Paul is the Managing Director of Michael Paul Holidays, a holiday property agency offering a handpicked range of accommodation in wonderful UK locations. Whether you are looking for the best Dorset weekend breaks or the cosiest cottages and log cabins in Scotland, he and his team will find you that perfect property for an unforgettable trip.
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