Chilford Hall has opened its vineyard for the 2014 season, celebrating 40 years since the late Sam Alper produced the first vintage.
The Linton vineyard, which turned 20 in 2012, opened on Saturday (22), offering a selection of tours and tastings, lunches and afternoon teas.
Following a cold and wet 2012, the harvest in 2013 was much more successful following almost ideal weather conditions for wine production.
The vineyard produced a bumper 30 tonnes of grapes and Chilford winemaker Mark Barnes estimates bottling figures to reach around 25,000.
Tours of the vineyard and winery and tastings are available twice a day from March until October on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays by Vanessa Chamberlain and Ged Bell.
Chilford Wines and Bistro is the onsite shop and café open from Thursday to Sunday and bank holidays from 9.30am to 5pm offering breakfasts, light snacks, lunches, afternoon teas, gifts and wine sales.
Wines available include: sparkling white, sparkling rosé, blush, dry white, medium dry and prices range from £9.50 to £11.50 and the Sparkling Rosé 2006 priced at £23.50.
Vanessa Chamberlain, tour manager, said: “We had a plentiful harvest last Autumn and Chilford winemaker Mark Barnes has been working hard to produce new wines for Spring and an unoaked red in the summer – a single variety pinot could also be in the pipeline.”
Glen Mejias, director and general manager, said, “We are looking forward to a successful year and have been very busy behind the scenes getting ready for the new season.
“We have a new menu in the bistro and continue to offer bespoke tours, tastings and catering for groups and small businesses who are looking to find out more about English wine and the wine making process – a team day out with a difference.”
Afternoon tour and tasting prices are £15 per person, or £23.95 per person for a tour and tasting including afternoon tea.
Gift experience vouchers for two people are available for £69.95, which includes a morning tour and tasting with lunch for two and a bottle of still wine to take home.
All tours and tastings must be pre-booked in advance due to popular demand.
To book tours and tastings, (group rates available for 20 or more), to order gift experience vouchers or to check availability call 01223 895600 or 895625, visit www.chilfordhall.co.uk or e-mail email@example.com
For all the latest news see tomorrow’s (Thursday, March 27) Echo.