How To Celebrate English Wine Week 2023
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How To Celebrate English Wine Week 2023

From paired lunches to vineyard tours, there's plenty going on across the UK

English Wine Week is back from 17 – 25 June 2023: the perfect excuse to enjoy a glass or two of vino in the sunshine. Here are some of the ways to get involved this year.

English Wine Week 2023: Everything You Need To Know

English wine is having a moment. For many centuries Britain prioritised other forms of agriculture over winemaking, but since the 1950s the industry has undergone something of a renaissance, with the UK now home to almost 600 vineyards.

English sparkling wine, in particular, has gained prestige in recent years – as Hedonism Wine’s general manager Julien Le Doaré explains: ‘The soils in southern England (Kent, Surrey and Sussex) are the same limestone chalk soils as those in Champagne, France, and, with climate change, the climate is getting warm enough to produce very high-quality sparkling wines.’ He adds that, though still wines remain a ‘nascent category in the country, there’s a lot of excitement around this area with red wines from pinot noir grapes, and aromatic whites.’

This revival is celebrated each year at English Wine Week, which has soared in popularity since it first launched in 2006, with more and more vineyards taking part each year.

What is English Wine Week?

Returning from 17 – 25 June 2023, English Wine Week is a national campaign to promote English wines. It takes place annually at the start of summer, when flowering begins in the vineyards, and sees tastings, tours and events taking place across the country.

2023 English Wine Week Events

Pop-up dining experience at Bolney Wine Estate

Sparkling Afternoon Tea at Bolney Wine Estate

Head to Bolney Wine Estate in Sussex, where you can experience a special afternoon tea among the vines. A number of geo-domes will be popping up amid the picturesque greenery, where diners can enjoy an array of sweet and savoury treats (think finger sandwiches, macaroons and scones) alongside a bottle of Bolney Bubbly or Bolney Bubbly Rosé. By night, the domes will be transformed to host a nighttime dining experience. Begin with a glass of fizz and canapes before sitting down to a three-course menu, with dishes made using seasonal Sussex produce, paired with wines. 

23 and 24 June 2023, £110 per couple.

Overnight Stay at The Gallivant Camber Sands

The Gallivant Camber Sands in East Sussex boasts one of the UK’s largest English wine lists. Book its special Discover English Wine Escape this June to enjoy a tour of the local vineyards, plus hosted tastings, followed by a three-course dinner complete with English wines – from Gusbourne Estate to Tillingham.

Sparkling Wine and Afternoon Tea at The Orchid Lounge, Pan Pacific London

Pan Pacific hotel in the City is renowned for its Singaporean-inspired afternoon tea offering, which is getting a special twist for English Wine Week. Guests will be able to enjoy premium sparkling wines from across Southern England while enjoying the Floral Fantasy Afternoon Tea – a seasonal array of pastries, scones and Asian-inspired savoury dishes. The offering features wines including 2011 Breaky Bottom Brut Cuvée Jack Pike, MV Nyetimber Cuvée Chérie Demi Sec and the 2019 Chapel Down Rosé Reserve – all of which have been selected to complement the dishes.

Available from 12pm – 4.30pm Thursday to Monday, from £68pp.

Sopwell House

Sparkling English Wine Afternoon Tea at Sopwell House

Raise a toast to English wine at Sopwell House, a beautiful spa hotel in the Hertfordshire countryside. A quintessentially British afternoon tea includes a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade cakes, pastries and scones, paired with a glass of Greyfriars Blanc De Blanc. Alternatively, visit the Brasserie for seasonal dishes paired with English wines, including producers Chapel Down and Balfour. 

From £34pp.

Pennethorne’s at Somerset House

Somerset House’s stylish wine bar Pennethorne’s is offering a flight of three sparkling wines this English Wine Week. Sip fizz from Hattingley Valley, Nyetimber and Bolney North Down on the terrace before an afternoon spent exploring the venue’s various exhibitions. Keen to learn more? If you visit on 21 June, Restaurant Associates’ wine expert Stephanie Robertson will be hosting a Q&A to give more insight into the wines on offer. 

17 – 25 June 2023.

Rathfinny's Wine Estate

Food and Wine Tour at Rathfinny

Explore the beautiful Rathfinny estate, accompanied by a guide who will teach you about a typical year of growing vines. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look inside the winery before tasting four sparkling wines, paired with a selection of local Sussex produce. 

19 – 22 June 2023, £37.50pp.

The Albury Wine Festival

Take a trip to Albury for its annual festival, which celebrates the Surrey Hills wine region with vineyard tours, wine tasting and masterclasses. Join acclaimed English wine expert John Mobbs for a special Surrey wine tasting, soak up the vineyard views on a tour, and sample a variety of wines from the pop-up bar, alongside cheese and charcuterie boards. 

24 – 25 June 2023, from £12.50pp.

Crab Cracking Masterclass at Furleigh Estate

Learn the art of crab cracking at Furleigh Estate in Dorset, hosted by local fish expert Sally Allan from Sally’s Fish Camp. After kicking things off with a glass of sparkling wine, you’ll learn how to crack, pick and dress a fresh crab, before sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labour – served with sourdough and locally hand-picked leaves. 

20 June, £85pp.

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