Explore Sussex’s New Wealden Wine Trail with Oz

This week we celebrate English Wine Week – a time to shine a spotlight on the fantastic wines being produced in our green and pleasant land.  There are few places producing better wine than East Sussex and this important winemaking area is now home to the newly launched Wealden Wine Trail, a collection of wineries welcoming visitors and offering tastings and tours.

Oz Clarke is one of the leading experts on English wine, having written two books on the subject and says: “The new Explore Wealden Wine Trail stretches from the Ashdown Forest in the High Weald right down to the thrilling Seven Sisters chalk cliffs in the south. East Sussex is a beautiful county full of variety and fascination and this new wine trail will show it at its very best – so please use it!!”

This exciting initiative aims to raise awareness of Wealden’s vineyards, inviting visitors to embark on a journey through the new Explore Wealden Wine Trail by visiting award-winning Sussex vineyards offering wine tastings, picnics, vineyard tours, nature trails and special events.

Everyone from far and wide is encouraged to explore this vibrant viticulture scene, which has attracted significant attention in recent years with its production of premium-quality still and sparkling wines – gaining praise both domestically and internationally.  From the larger wine estates to smaller hidden gems, the trail has something for everyone. It celebrates the people, places and passion behind every bottle. The project aims to improve pride in place, invest in communities and support local businesses.  Each vineyard offers the opportunity to explore the art and science of winemaking while visitors can enjoy informal guided walks through the vines and wineries – often meeting the wine-makers and vineyard owners en route.

 

Oz has just hosted a special virtual tasting to take a tour through the wineries of Wealden.  Click below to watch a recording and whet your appetite for visiting the region yourself.

Featured wines:

  1. Downsview Vineyards, Old Vine White 2022 – presented by Toby Spiers.
    £24. Available at www.downsviewvineyard.co.uk
  2. Rathfinny Wine Estate, Cradle Valley Pinot Gris 2022 – presented by Tony Milanowski.
    £15.  Available at Rathfinny Wine Estate cellar door and restaurants: the Tasting Room, The Hut & Flint Barns. rathfinnyestate.com
  3. Beacon Down Vineyard, Pinot Gris 2022 – presented by Paul Pippard
    £17.99. Available at www.beacondown.co.uk
  4. Hidden Spring Vineyard, Bacchus Fumé 2023 – presented by Richard Asman
    £20. Available at Waitrose SE, Burgundy Wines, Gusto Wines, www.hiddenspring.co.uk
  5. Mousehall Estate, Tidebrook Staddle Stone Chardonnay 2022 – presented by Gary Jordan
    £35. Available at www.mousehall.com, Fine Wines of Mayfield, High Timber Restaurant, Awin Barratt Siegel Wine Agencies.
  6. The Secret Vineyard, Rosé 2022 – presented by Helen Soudain
    £22. Available at Burford Garden Co, Juiced, Platf9rm Hove, The Levels
  7. Wildwood Vineyard, Eagle Ridge Rosé 2022 – presented by Paul Olding
    £14. Available at www.wildwoodvineyard.co.uk
  8. In the Loop Drinks, Semi-Sweet Red English Vermouth – presented by Gnina Balchin
    £21.95. Available at www.intheloopdrinks.co.uk, Sussex and Kent National Trust, Sussex Waitrose Stores, Master of Malt, Amazon

The virtual tasting was supported by Wealden District Council who are working with their vineyards to launch the new Explore Wealden Wine Trail.