This walking tour showcases some of the most notable vineyards in Sussex and Hampshire. Join us on this exciting, whirlwind trip that takes in some of the most beautiful areas of Sussex and the rolling chalk slopes of Hampshire’s South Down National Park. Taste an excellent selection of sparkling wines produced from a variety of grapes, particularly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
An area steeped in history, from Romans, Normans, medieval times and military past. Petersfield is of particular note, founded in the 12th century. Home to one of only five statues in the UK of King William III and as such attracts the marching of the Orangemen in July to commemorate William’s victory at the Battle of Boyne.
A culinary adventure with multitudes of local artisans creating sustainable and unique heritage produce. Food markets off er top quality produce all year round. Choose from national award-winning cheeses, fresh trout, smoked salmon, tempting chocolate, fresh watercress, quality meat, chutney, jam and so much more.
Wine has been produced in this area for around 2,000 years, but first commercially produced in the 1950’s. Now with over 450 vineyards producing around 3.15m bottles, it is increasingly being recognised as a premium wine. The UK’s sparkling wine is now considered to be on par with champagne.
Our tour starts with the group being greeted on arrival at our hotel, The Trooper Inn, before a delightful walk in the surrounding area. After stirring up an appetite, we transfer by minibus to Nyetimber. Usually closed to the public, we are very lucky to enjoy lunch here at their countryside estate, which confidently rivals the best sparkling wines in the world, including those from Champagne. This part of England shares similar conditions with the champagne region in France. We enjoy an introduction to the estate and its wines over a tasting before lunch. This evening, we have an introductory tasting to explore more of the UK’s still wines, after which we enjoy dinner together.
We start the day with a visit to East Meon Vineyard, whose property includes a medieval court house dating from 1395, and it is in here that we will taste their sparkling wine, which regularly wins medals. We transfer a short distance by minibus to the start of our afternoon walk which is on well-marked footpaths through farmland, woods, a cricket ground and finally vineyards as we arrive at Hambledon Vineyard, having walked around 3 miles. Hambledon has a long history of cricket. While wine has been produced in England since Roman times, the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII brought an end to large-scale wine production until the planting of this vineyard in the 1950s. We enjoy lunch here and afterwards, we transfer by minibus to Old Winchester Hill and the start of our walk. We walk through Old Winchester Hill Nature Reserve, which was the site of a hillfort. Bronze Age burial mounds – known as barrows – were erected on the crest of this hill between 4,500 and 3,500 years ago. We come down from the hill and meet our wine host to take us to our final visit of the day, another example of locally produced sparkling wine. We host a group dinner this evening.
We check out after breakfast today, after which you have the choice of returning home, or joining an optional unescorted walk around the local area.
Caron’s interest in wine began whilst working on the Christie’s Wine Course, which led to her joining Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours. An avid traveller, Caron has researched and tour-managed wine tours worldwide including diverse regions such as Lebanon, Oregon and Croatia. Caron has been following the English wine scene for many years and set up A&C’s original English Vineyard Walk. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion for Hampshire’s South Downs on our English Walk.