This self-drive tour is for over 18’s only and you will need a car and dedicated driver. Please check opening times and availability of tours at the vineyards below ahead of your visit, tours need to be pre-booked in advance.
Starting in Chichester: Tinwood Estate
The Tinwood Estate’s vineyards are situated in the heart of West Sussex at the foot of the South Downs National Park, just 10 minutes from Chichester. Since the first planting in 2007, Tinwood has quickly established a reputation for producing the very finest English sparkling wines. This includes The Estate Brut, the Blanc de Blancs and an exquisite Rosé.
Tours run daily (3pm) or twice daily at weekends (12.00 and 3pm) allowing you to meet the winegrowers, explore the vineyard and have a tasting experience in Tinwood’s new Tasting Room, tours cost £18 per person. Alternatively, head direct to the Tasting Room to sample some of Tinwood’s produce before heading on to the next venue.
Pulborough: Wiston Estate
A 30 minute drive along the B2139 via the ancient and picturesque village of Storrington will take you to the Wiston Estate in Washington, Pulborough, just outside of the Chichester District. Wiston Estate Winery is widely regarded as one of the most exciting new sparkling wine enterprises in the UK.The Estate has been owned and managed by the Goring family since 1743 and is overseen today by Harry and Pip Goring. It was Pip’s long-held belief that the estate had the potential to grow high quality grapes and the 6.5 hectare vineyard, which was planted in 2006 and lies on a south-facing chalk escarpment similar to Champagne, is the fruit of her dream and tenacity. Under the aegis of winemaker Dermot Sugrue, the team produces award-winning English Sparkling wines of exceptional purity and finesse from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Wiston offers Vineyard & Winery Tours by appointment only April to October. Each scheduled tour includes fresh coffee and biscuits in their Wine Barn, a walk through the vineyard, a tractor-pulled trailer ride to visit the winery and a tutored tasting. Tours are £20 per person and last approximately 2.5 hours, but Food & Wine Pairing Tours are also available.
Pulborough: Nutbourne Vineyards
Just 20 minutes along the A283 is Nutbourne Vineyard. Part of the new renaissance in English Wine, Nutbourne is a family run boutique wine producer making award winning still and sparkling wines in the heart of West Sussex. Every part of the wine making process takes place on site in their state-of-the-art winery. Their ancient windmill tasting room is open throughout the summer months and at other times by appointment.
Nutbourne offer vineyard tours and tastings from £15 per person, as well as private catered meals. Tours need to be pre-booked and begin with tea, coffee and home-made cakes, followed by an informative walk along the vineyard trail. You will then visit the winery where you will be taken through each step of the wine-making process. Tours conclude with a tutored tasting of five award-winning sparkling and still wines in Nutbourne’s Wine Lodge overlooking the vines and the South Downs. Alternatively, you can just call in and visit the vineyard for a tasting session, before heading onto the next venue.
Petworth: Upperton Vineyards
Next, take a 20 minute drive along the A283 via Storrington and Pulborough - a large village on the River Arun, home to some stunning Georgian buildings - to Upperton Vineyards. Located in the rolling hills of the South Downs and just outside of the historic market town of Petworth, Upperton is a family business, growing a mixture of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
Andy Rogers first planted Upperton in 2005 with 800 trial vines initially intended for the production of still wine. Through chance encounters, numerous vineyard visits and wine tastings it became clear to Andy he should produce high quality sparkling English wine. Numerous plantings ensued with the vineyard totalling 32,000 vines. In 2015 Andy went into semi-retirement and some of the vineyard was sold off. Upperton now comprises of 6,000 vines producing between 6,000 and 10,000 bottles per year, run by three generations of the same family, including Andy.
Upperton’s vineyard shop is open Tuesday to Saturday while its Terrace Bar, offering glorious panoramic views of the South Downs is open 12.00 to 5pm Friday and Saturday, both have a range of fabulous sparkling wines to try, with Sussex cheese platters available from the bar.
On leaving Upperton, take a moment to explore Petworth, one of Britain’s most beautiful towns, attracting visitors from across the globe thanks to its world-class antiques offering. Stop for a bite of lunch in the Hungry Guest Café, named by The Times as one of the 30 Best Places for Brunch in Britain in 2012.
Clanfield: Hambledon Vineyard
A 40 minute drive along the A272, known as one of the UK's greatest cross country drives, will take you to Hambledon Vineyard. On route, you’ll pass through another of the UK’s most beautiful market towns: Midhurst. Midhurst is home to more independent shops and cafes than any other Sussex town, making it the idea post-lunch coffee stop. Take a browse of the shops before continuing onto your final vineyard of the day.
Hambledon Vineyard, located just outside of Clanfield on the Hampshire border comprises over 200 acres spread over numerous vineyard sites. Each vineyard is planted with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier - the three grape varieties most commonly used in the production of Champagne.
Home Vineyard is planted on the steep Southeast-facing slope immediately beneath Mill Down House at between 50 and 100m above sea level. A larger Windmill Down Vineyard spreads across the Southeast-facing slopes to the west of the house and winery. A third vineyard to the east of the house is, unsurprisingly, called East Vineyard! Two other large sites within the village of Hambledon comprise their remaining vines.
Making wine is a labour of love and the vineyard team at Hambledon work hard all year round, in all weathers, with their 100,000 established vines being pruned by hand. Two hour vineyard tours, including a tour and tasting of two Classic Cuvée sparkling wines cost £15 per person (plus £1.67 booking fee) but must be arranged in advance.
Back to Chichester
Now the wine route is complete, take the A3 and A27 back to Chichester City Centre. The city is home to a host of restaurants offering everything from traditional British food to Italian, Indian, Mexican and Thai to name a few. The perfect end to a relaxing trip!
Sample from home
If you can’t get out and about but would still like to sample some of the fine produce from our region, you can order online from the websites above.
The Blackdown Ridge Estate in Haslemere is not open to the public but accepts online orders. The estate produces quality English Wines made from grapes grown in their single estate vineyard in the Sussex South Downs.