There is so much more to South Downs food & drink than cream teas and real ales.
Over the past few years, the South Downs has become a renowned wine-making region, producing some of the best wines in England.
This is all down to the unique chalky composition of the soil and the temperate climate, which mimics that of the Champagne region in France. As a result, South Downs vineyards are currently producing some world-class sparkling wines, as well as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir.
Here are just a few of our favourite vineyards in the South Downs area.
1. Three Choirs, Hampshire
Located at the southern edge of the South Downs, this was one of the first vineyards to be established in the UK. Three Choirs was established way back in 1973, and its owners have pioneered a unique method of growing, which involves pairing Pinot Noir and Muller Thurgau grapes alongside more modern varieties. The result is a dazzling range of white, rose and sparkling wines, as well as a limited collection of fruity reds.
2. Wiston Estate, Pulborough
This beautiful estate uses biodynamic methods to cultivate its grapes. This means no pesticides and no chemicals added to the soil. Wiston Estate has also pioneered a modern method of grape pressing, using an enormous Coquard Press which ensures the purity of the juice from the very start of the harvest.
Famed for its sparkling wines, Wiston has a carefully created collection of award-winning ‘blanc de blanc’ wines and complex ‘blanc de noir’ cuvees.
3. Hambledon Vineyards, Waterlooville
Nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Hambledon Vineyards is the place to go if you want to experience a true taste of the South Downs area.
Hambledon specialises in English sparkling wines, and its premier cuvee is always in high demand. Book a guided tour of the resplendent grounds, and finish off your day with a taste of English ‘champagne’.