I may know my whisky better than any other drink, but I do have an obsession for vineyards. Acres of green vines, spreading over slopes as they grow heavy with ripe fruits are a common sight in Tuscany, but less so in the United Kingdom. When I spotted some vineyards in Surrey last year on a steam train ride, I wondered what British wine would taste like. It has come a long way in recent years, winning accolades, growing unique variety of grapes (Bacchus) and tempting even the most discerning of drinkers. My friends and I decided to take a trip away from London for a day to enjoy the English countryside and take a stroll through the vineyards.
Denbies wine estate in Surrey was the closest to us and a good start. The estate offers indoor and outdoor winery tours. The former explores the working winery along with a cellar tasting, while the latter takes you on a toy train tour of the vineyard, boasting panoramic views of the North Downs.
After our indoor food and wine tasting tour, we dined at the gallery restaurant which looks over their 265-acre vineyard. Narrowing down what to drink (as captured in my photos) are sharing a bottle of the Bacchus Sparkling wine and the Noble Harvest dessert wine which were our favourites.
Tickets: The price depends on the tour chosen. We opted for the basic indoor winery tour which was £14.50 each for over an hour.
My passion for food, particularly trying the vegetarian dishes from different cuisines stems from the advantage of living in London. The diversity here is remarkable. You can head to another part of town and try an authentic dish from a country that is 6000 miles away.