Heard it on the Grapevine

Kent wine lover Rowena Hawtin shares her love of the grape with us and recommends a few tipples for 2018

Did you know that there are more than 50 vineyards in Kent with many new ones springing up all the time? The bigger ones are now well known with their wines being sold in top supermarkets and high end restaurants in London and the home counties.

However, although many of the vineyards are family concerns, the #Winelady has chosen to feature three of the smaller ones this edition which only produce a few hundred bottles of each wine per year so you may want to join their mailing list and/or pay a visit so you can be sure to obtain your favourite choices.

Westwell Wines

Westwell is a picturesque village just outside Ashford and their vineyards are located just beneath the North downs on the Pilgrims Way. With just over nine acres, they have a choice of five still wines and four sparkling. Their Chardonnay ‘Naughty Hare’ 2014 has touches of citrus, lemons and apples coupled with notes of herbs and won the IWSC Bronze award 2016. £14.95 www.westwellwines.com

Terlingham Vineyard

Based near Folkestone, Terlingham offer lovely vineyard walks with a wine tasting by appointment only. The cost is £25 per person which includes a tour of the vineyard, ploughman’s lunch and a wine tasting. Their natural Bacchus 2016 is delicious; light and refreshing, it’s a typical example of English Bacchus at its best and was awarded the silver International English Wine Award (IEWA) in 2018 – but it’s only available at the cellar door. 10% abv £12.50. www.terlinghamvineyard.co.uk

Gusbourne Wine

Situated in Appledore, near Tenterden, Gusbourne wines have gained a reputation for high quality sparkling wine using traditional methods and minimal intervention. Their Brut Reserve 2014 is made with the traditional Champagne grapes of Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, is bright gold in colour and the various vintages have won numerous prestigious awards. The aromas of strawberry and cherry give way to a fresh, clean palate and lingering finish and it is the perfect partner for most classic English dishes. 12% abv £35. www.gusbourne.com

The #winelady www.discoverthevine.co.uk

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