England Wine Tours
Let SmoothRed take you on a journey through the world of English winemaking – across the vineyards of Kent and Sussex, lauded in the industry for the quality of their sparkling wines. Visit quaint, quintessential English villages, enjoy the countryside views across the Garden of England and taste a wide range of the country’s very finest produce.
When you think of great wine, it can be easy to imagine the heartlands of Europe: Tuscany’s rolling hills or the sprawling vineyards which reach out over the Bordelaise countryside. Most people don’t consider booming viticulture epicentre in the South of England.
That’s all changing, though. As the summers grow warmer and the climate becomes more suitable to winemaking, the English wine industry is going from strength to strength. Now, the little English wineries popping up around the country are beginning to produce wines that are more than capable of matching anything from the continent. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Bacchus are varieties of grape that are beginning to thrive in the South East and feature heavily in the 500 vineyards in this corner of England.
Kent, otherwise known as the Garden of England, is one of the country’s prettiest regions. Sleepy villages and bustling beach towns fill this verdant and pleasant county, punctuated by ancient cities such as Canterbury and an incredible coastline. The historic county of Sussex is a region which stands as nothing less than iconic – bordered by the legendary White Cliffs of Dover and covered in gentle hills and deep forests. Its towns and cities, such as Brighton, Hove and Chichester, are among the most vibrant in all the South.
It was the Romans who first brought vines into England many moons ago, possibly around AD 300. From there a warm patch in the Middle Ages helped the imported Roman vines to prosper and their produce used to service Catholic monasteries, with the pruning carried out by the monasteries themselves. When Henry VIII led his protestant reformation, the English wine ‘scene’ pretty much disappeared. Aside from private wineries and hobbyists, the English viticulture scene began to pick up commercially from the 1970’s – perhaps also aligned to a slight warming of the planet…
The climate remains a risk factor for many English wine makers and this makes it a fascinating aspect of any English wine tour. Dealing with frosts and frequently wet periods of weather can ruin a wine crop. However, that’s not deterred the likes of Taittinger from buying a vineyard in the county of Kent.
The soils across the South East of England, spanning the counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey are of a limestone ilk and predominantly chalky, matching the soil composition of the Champagne and Chablis region just across the channel. It’s for this reason, around 66% of wine made in England is sparkling white wine, perfect serve chilled with seafood or white meat dishes.
“Sit back and relax, SmoothRed will take you on a faultless, varied, and interesting wine (and gastronomic!) tasting tour in your region of choice. 90 happy people have now been wowed by Bordeaux, Rioja, Tuscany, Languedoc, and Alsace courtesy of SmoothRed. You only live once, so stop sipping it at home and start enjoying it where it is lovingly created, courtesy of the experts at SmoothRed” Hoares Bank
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SmoothRed planned a truly fabulous trip from Paris through Brittany to Normandy and back to Paris. Every part of the trip was wonderful and seamlessly executed. It was a trip of a lifetime! Without any hesitation or qualifications, we heartily recommend SmoothRed. They customized an extraordinary family trip.
Very well organised trip to Tuscany, getting in 2 wine regions. Lovely hotel with amazing view. The best part was our guide Paula who ensured our wine tasting tours were with smaller wineries which have authenticity and care for the environment. Highly recommend SmoothRed!
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To Adam & the SmoothRed Team. Our recent trip to Bordeaux and the Medoc/St Emillion has been a wonderful trip & experience. One I would have no hesitation in saying is top class. I would certainly use SmoothRed & their travel associates in future wine tasting trips. The entire group…
SmoothRed did an outstanding job providing chauffeured driven wine tour through Bourgogne and the Rhone valley (France). The multiple vendors they used were all Courteous, Prompt, and very fluent in English. This 7 day trip went without problems. I would highly recommend SmoothRed.
We came to Bordeaux for part of our honeymoon and took the First Growth Bordeaux tour. SmoothRed worked with us to curate a trip based on our desires. The 8 Chateaux we visited, the 3 delicious lunches, and the hotel were wonderful, but what set the trip apart was our…