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Glug! Best local vineyards

It's English Wine Week (19-27 June)! Finally, an excuse to drink wine every day (ha, as if we need one). Top up your glass with a drop from one of these local vineyards. Hiccup!

Welland Valley Vineyard, Market Harborough

A bit of a hidden gem, this 2.5 acre bucolic vineyard – two miles from leafy Market Harborough – has been run by David and Janes Bates since 1991. Here, they grow a variety of both red and white French and German vine varieties. Their small winery means the grapes can be pressed, vinified and bottled on site.

Where can I buy/try? Pick up direct from the vineyard and while here, have a quick tour. Bottles are also available at Farndon Fields, Ashley Farm Shop, March House Farm and other retail outlets.

Stand-out sip: Try their sparking white Steeplechase Brut. An affordable alternative to Champagne, it’s fresh and fruity with a slight almond finish.

Rothley Wine Estate, Rothley

Pic via Rothley Wine Estate,

A small two-acre, vineyard on the Rothley Brook behind the family home of Liz and Matthew Robson. It’s a south facing plot, so fab conditions for grapes to grow. Here, they produce both still wines and fruit wines but their sparkling wines are made over at Halfpenny Green Vineyard in Staffordshire. Apparently it’s likely that King Richard III crossed the Rothley Book on his way to the Battle of Bosworth so for this reason, many of their wines have a royal theme – including their popular King Richard white wine.

Where can I try/buy? You can click and collect direct from the estate or order online. Call 0116 2375168 to arrange your order and pay by bank transfer. You an also buy from George Hill of Loughborough and Norths Delicatessen in Rothley and Wigston Deli. Vineyard tours and tastings are back open for the summer. Whoop whoop!

Stand-out sip: Try the King Richard (2020 Vintage). It’s a vibrant and intense wine with a refreshing citrus flavour and scents of elderflower and melon – a perfect summer wine.

Hanwell Wine Estate, Melton Mowbray

A second generation family-run vineyard run by the Brown family in Melton Mowbray within the rolling South Notts countryside. Helenka and William plated their own vineyard in 2012 with the champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The first grapes were harvested in 2015 and now have 8000 vines to pick from.

Where can I buy/try? You can buy direct from their online shop here and during English Wine Week, they’re offering free entry to everyone. While there, you can also enjoy a self-guided tour and free samples of their wine.

Stand-out sip: Their light and fruity Eglantine Sparkling Dry White Wine is perfect to toast the end of lockdown!

Find more ideas here

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