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Ellie Graham
8th April 2024

Oh, Kent…your postcard-worthy rolling hills and bursting-with-life landscapes really do have a special place in our hearts. And you’re not just a pretty face either, certainly not! From the county’s soil, beautiful produce is created every year, and today we’re talking wine. We’re celebrating the makers, the products, and the places where you can experience Kent’s wine scene to the fullest this year. And with great transport from Southeastern and Stagecoach, even the designated drivers of the group can delight in this year’s events…

Canterbury Wine Festival

(17th-18th May)

Fancy sampling some delicious Kentish wines, but not sure where to start? We’ve got one weekend coming up in May when you can do just that, all in one place. The Canterbury Wine Festival returns once again to Westgate Hall, showcasing over 45 wines from across the county, ready for you to get stuck in and bring out those tasting note sheets. Enjoy dynamic flavours, join in on masterclasses, and talk one on one with the experts who are putting Kent on the map as one of the most diverse wine regions in the country.

‘A Tale of Two Terroirs’ Tasting and Lunch

With a few dates left in June, book yourself in for Gusbourne’s unmissable tasting and lunch, where you’ll explore their terroirs in both Kent and neighbour-county Sussex. Spend the day celebrating English Wine Week (that’s starting on 15th June, mark the diary!), as you’re guided through their vineyard, followed by a side-by-side tasting of their delightful wines. Think it couldn’t get any better? Maybe a seasonal three-course lunch, served by their Head Chef, will change your mind!

(c) Chilham Castle

Wine Garden of England Summer Celebration

(8th June)

Backdropped by the stunning Chilham Castle, this year brings with it the Wine Garden of England Summer Celebration. Grab yourself an All Day pass and head along to this 17th century residence, fit with ornamental garden and its very own vineyard, to delve into the world of Kentish wines. Just a 10-minute walk from Chilham Station, you’ll be at the Castle’s lake in no time, surrounded by seven of the county’s top winemakers, all there to give you insider info on their craft. Top that off with the evening’s After Party full of more wine, live music, and local food producers, and you’ve got yourself a day out to remember.

(c) Mark Anthony Fox

Wine and Dine

A cellar stocked with over 4,000 of the finest bottles of wine is proof enough of the team at Boys Hall's passion for the craft. And, for three spectacular days coming up this year, you can join them in celebrating Kentish winemakers and producers. Whether that be tastings from Westwell Wines or Simpsons, both paired with delicious five course dinners, or an al fresco summer feast on the lawn with chef Ana Ortiz and Firemade UK, you wine enthusiasts are in for a treat. 

Sunset Sessions

Those long, hazy summer afternoons are calling to us…and we’ve got a feeling that a trip to Simpons Wine Estate might be the way to spend one of them. A Sunset Session guides you through the winemaking process on the estate, all the while glowing from the late afternoon sun as it lights the Kentish countryside. Walk through the iconic Roman Road Vineyard, witness the winemaking process in the winery, join in on a delightful tasting – and don’t forget to take a slide down the helter skelter once you’ve finished!

Heard it through the Grapevine?

(9th September)

Did you know that listening to music while eating can change your taste buds? Well, as Wine Tours of Kent put this theory to the test, we’ll be the first to volunteer as subjects! Taking you to two award-winning vineyards in one day (Gusbourne Wine Estate and Woodchurch Vineyard) each one brings with it delightful drinks and magical music. This is an experience for all the senses, so grab your cameras and a friend, and Wine Tours of Kent will do the rest…

Tours and turrets

The team at Chapel Down have always got something exciting to treat us to, whether that be a Cheese & Wine Experience, Comedy Night and Wine Tasting, or a Walking with Wine Tour. They’ve gone above and beyond this time, making our fairytale dreams come true and giving us our next staycation spot. That’s right, this summer could see you and that special someone heading off on your very own adventure – a tour, tasting and Sabrage demonstration at Chapel Down, followed by a three-course lunch with a glass of wine at their Swan restaurant. Top that off with tickets to visit National Trust’s Sissinghurst Castle Gardens, and a two-night stay at Sissinghurst Castle Farm House…need we say more?

Meet the makers

Go behind the scenes and learn from the expert makers at Biddenden, Kent’s original vineyard, family-run and led since its creation in 1969. And a family experience is what you’ll get. Join either Julian or Tom (second and third generation growers and winemakers) as they lead you through the estate, telling the history of Biddenden and all of its glorious 23-acres. You’ll hear about what goes into the making of the wines there, followed by a tasting so you can see for yourself how such an abundant landscape can produce amazing results.

Winemakers’ Kitchen

New to Balfour Winery, the Winemakers’ Kitchen is sure to tick the culinary boxes of everyone in the party. Proudly proving that “what grows together, goes together” this seasonal kitchen brings together local ingredients to curate mouth-watering menus. Pairing perfectly with their fantastic wine selection, your day out at Balfour will delight the senses. What’s more, with a minibus taking you from Marden Station right to their door, you can be in the heart of one of England’s best vineyards in less than an hour from London.

City centre sipping

Just a few doors down from Canterbury Cathedral, Corkk is our saving grace of where to go when we’re in need of tasting some county-wide delights. Hand picked and lovingly planned out, their selection is enough to have any wine-lover swooning in moments. And with their upcoming events, like Consciously Kent, Power of Pinot, and Sip into Spring, you’ve got all the more reason to head along for an exciting afternoon of sipping and swirling!

Upcoming…

Whew, that’s a whole lot of wine excitement happening in the county this year. And keep your eye out for what’s to come, with the highly anticipated Domaine Evremond opening its doors in 2024. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, this Chilham based winery has certainly got our attention. We’ll see you soon…