The Tinwood Estate is located just three miles from my home, on the edge of the South Downs national park. Tinwood first set up their vineyard in 2007, and since have been producing three fantastic varieties of sparkling wine. From their Blanc de Blancs, and their Estate Brut to their cool refreshing Rosé.
Tinwood Estate Sparkling Wine Tasting.
For general sales, Tinwood only supply their wines directly from their own shop, and on their website. Apart from this, they supply their fantastic wines to the Goodwood Estate, local car manufacturer Rolls Royce, and a few select local restaurants.
From just £15 Tinwood offer vineyard tours and wine tasting sessions. A tour of their vineyards, explains the history of the estate and the varieties of grape which they grow. The tour is followed by a retreat to their modern tasting room, which overlooks the main vineyard and the lush green British countryside, to enjoy a glass of each of their three wines. For an extra £5 per person (min two people), enjoy a beautiful cheese platter with a selection of three cheeses. Each of which compliment the three superb wines. If you have a party of ten or more a canapé selection can also be ordered.
Generally Tinwood run two tours a day, every day apart from Sundays. Tinwood also organise special events throughout the year, such as their harvest days. Tinwood’s harvest days are a great chance for you to get your hands dirty and help with the grape picking, before enjoying a three course meal and a glass of bubbles.
To my shame I have never visited Tinwood until just a few weeks ago, despite living only three miles down the road, and driving past their vineyard almost every day. I guess in today’s busy lifestyle you take for granted the wonderful things right on your doorstep. I’m changing this, I promise.
I booked a tasting session one Saturday afternoon with a group of friends. There was a great turnout, with all the spaces on the tour being full. Most importantly – beautiful weather for the occasion. Once everyone had arrived, the tour started. Art, the owner of the vineyard first gave us a tour of the main vineyard, and talked to us about the three main grape varieties which are grown at Tinwood. Art then explained the careful positioning of the vines, running from northeast to southwest. This positioning allows for maximum exposure to the sun, allowing all the grapes to ripen equally.
Once our tour had finished, we basked in the sun on the beautiful modern sun terrace in front of the tasting room. Art and his partner Jody talked us through each wine before we tasted them. While we were tasting the wines, Jody also suggested which of the cheeses best accompanied each wine. She also suggested that we have honey on the cheese. The honey is their own, which is also produced on the Tinwood Estate. I must admit I have never tried honey with cheese before, but it works really well!
After the tastings had finished we were all asked which of the three wines we preferred. It was a close call between the Brut and the Blanc de Blancs, but the Brut won the day. The Brut was also my favourite. We were then asked if we would like to purchase another glass, or bottle, of our favourite. We couldn’t resist enjoying another bottle of the Brut while we sat in the sun.
I also purchased a few bottles of the Brut to take home, as well as a jar or their delicious golden honey. Tinwood’s sparkling wine tastings are a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon. They come highly recommended to anyone who lives locally, or anyone who is planning a visit to the area.
From Easter 2016 Tinwood will have three luxurious lodges available to book for a night, or longer if you wish. A perfect setting for a wonderful break, in the beautiful Sussex countryside.