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Chin Chin! How to celebrate English Wine Week

It's English Wine Week (18-26 June)! As if we need an excuse to drink more wine! Head to one of these local vineyards and drinking holes to top up your glass with everything from from Leicestershire rose to Sussex fizz.

ROTHLEY WINE ESTATE, LEICESTERSHIRE

This small two-acre vineyard on the Rothley Brook sits behind the family home of Liz and Matthew Robson. The south facing plot makes use of its excellent location and produces both still wines and fruit wines but it’s their King Richard that’s a really popular choice. It’s a vibrant and intense wine with a refreshing citrus flavour and scents of elderflower and melon. You can book a visit via their website or join the English Wine Tasting tour on 2 July at 12pm. Tickets £8.

BLACK IRON, WINSTANLEY HOUSE, LEICESTER

Hidden away within leafy green parkland in Leicester, the bar in this boutique hotel serves a delightful variety of English wines carefully selected by a local Francis Fine Wines over in Cosby. On the drinks menu is award-winning sparkling wine, Nyetimber from West Sussex; you can expect everything from their signature, Classic Cuvee to the refined, stand-out sip, Cuvee Cherie.

OVATION BAR, OAKHAM

A finalist in the Muddy Awards this year, this brand-spanking new wine and cocktail bar on Gaol Street, Oakham supports British vineyards and local produce, and their drinks menu features a handful of beautiful British wine including a Classic Cuvee Bruta, sparkling Rose Brut and Blanc de Noirs from Rathfinney Estate in Sussex plus wine from Leicestershire’s very own Rothley Wine Estate. Glug!

HANWELL WINE ESTATE, MELTON MOWBRAY

The largest ‘champagne only grape variety’ vineyard in the East Midlands, Hanwell is celebrating their ten year anniversary (hurrah!) this year and are throwing open their doors on the 25 June to celebrate English Wine Week. You can take a self-guided vineyard tour and enjoy samples of their wines. Helenka Brown, estate owner and viticulturist will also be on hand to answer any of your questions. Try their light and fruity Eglantine Sparkling Dry White Wine is perfect to toast the summer!

DUNCAN MURRAY WINES, MARKET HARBOROUGH

white wine
Photo by Ales Maze on Unsplash

If you’ve ever visited Market Harborough, chances are you’ve walked past or even popped into this local wine shop. Duncan and his merry team also run a pop-up over at EcoVillage once a month (the next one is 21 July) and what he doesn’t know about wines, is not worth knowing. Not surprising then, that he stocks a great variety of English wine including New Hall Wine Estate from Essex, Langham Wine from Dorset, Henners Wine from Sussex and more. They also offer free wine tasting every other Saturday (the next one is 2 July).

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. Head here in July and August for a group visit and try their sparking white Steeplechase Brut. An affordable alternative to Champagne, it’s fresh and fruity with a slight almond finish.

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