The UK’s best selection of British vineyards

Vineyards? In the UK? You heard right! Although not famed for its vino in the same way Italy, Spain or Chile may be, the British Isles do still have much to offer in the way of a crisp wine. 

As kitchen lovers we know that nothing tastes quite like a fine wine paired with the perfect dish and whilst there’s a big push to shop local, why not extend this invitation to your wine. You might be surprised to learn that the UK is now home to over 700 individual vineyards which cover an astonishing 4,900 acres of British soil. Although most are nestled away in private farmland, a small proportion of these vineyards are open to the public and offer a variety of experiences such as walking-tours, overnight stays, and wine-tasting sessions.

We’ve created ‘The UK Vindex’ which analysed over 230 vineyards in Britain based on a range of factors including Google reviews, search trends and the facilities available at each location. We used these factors to give each vineyard a ‘Vindex Score’ out of 100; revealing the best vineyards to visit in the UK!

Relax in your kitchen knowing that your wine is fresh off the vine and read on to find out which UK vineyards should be first on your staycation wishlist.

The top 20 British vineyards that are open to the public to visit and try wine from

 

Rank

Vineyard

County

Google

Rating

No. Google Reviews

Av. Google Search Volume

(past 12 months)

Trend in Google searches

Facilities score 

(out of 11)

Vindex Score (out of 100)

1

Hambledon Vineyard

Hampshire

5

53

2,400

238%

5

100.00

2

Adgestone Vineyard

Hampshire 

(Isle of Wight)

4.8

119

1,000

116%

7

93.75

3

Chapel Down

Kent

4.7

309

14,800

23%

6

93.75

4

The Mount Vineyard

Kent

4.6

180

2,400

52%

7

93.27

5

Biddenden Vineyards

Kent

4.8

70

1,600

26%

6

91.95

6

Nutbourne Vineyards

Sussex

4.9

27

720

122%

6

91.23

7

Squerryes

Kent

4.8

38

1,600

53%

3

89.78

8

Albourne Estate

Sussex

4.9

26

590

171%

6

89.06

9

Denbies Wine Estate

Surrey

4.4

737

6,600

124%

8

88.94

10

Chartham Vineyard

Kent

4.9

33

390

85%

3

88.82

11

Crouch Ridge Vineyard

Essex

4.6

87

1,000

400%

6

88.70

12

Simpsons Wine Estate

Kent

4.9

12

590

171%

4

88.46

13

Carr Taylor Vineyards

Sussex

4.6

85

880

164%

6

88.34

14

Langham Wine Estate

Dorset

4.8

100

1,900

85%

9

87.26

15

Gusbourne Estate

Kent

4.9

42

320

51%

8

87.14

16

Tinwood Estate

Sussex

4.8

227

2,900

22%

6

87.02

17

Woodchester Valley Vineyard

Gloucestershire

4.8

52

1,600

230%

5

85.94

18

Greyfriars Vineyard

Surrey

4.9

48

1,000

82%

4

85.82

19

Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens

Sussex

4.7

1004

1,000

22%

8

84.62

20

Alder Vineyard

Devon

4.8

35

480

285%

6

83.65

 

#1 Hampshire’s Hambledon Vineyard is the best vineyard to visit in the UK according to the study

Image: Hambledon Vineyard

Hambledon Vineyard located in Hampshire is the best vineyard to visit in the UK scoring a perfect Vindex score of 100 out of 100. Established in 1952, Hambledon is England’s oldest commercial vineyard and one of the top sparkling wine producers in the UK. 

Hambledon’s numerous vineyard sites now cover over 200 acres on the South Downs, and are open to the public. The vineyard saw a 238% increase in Google searches over the past year showing interest is high. This is no surprise as the vineyard offers a range of facilities for paying guests, as well as showcasing stunning views. 

Despite only scoring 5 out of 11 on the index in relation to its facilities available there is plenty to see and do on the grounds such as tours, special events, workshops and afternoon tea tasting sessions, where you can try Hambledon’s award winning sparkling wines that are produced on site. Hambledon achieved the best rating out of all the vineyards studied, achieving 5 stars on average from visitor reviews. 

#2 Adgestone Vineyard in the Isle of Wight is the UK’s second-best vineyard 

Image: Adgestone Vineyard

The Isle of Wight’s Adgestone Vineyard takes second place, with an impressive Vindex score of 93.75 out of 100. Similar to its first place rival, Adgestone is also located in Hampshire - showing the county sure knows how to offer a superior vineyard experience. 

Adgestone is a small family run business rated 4.8 stars on Google. Their 10 acre vineyard with sea views is one of the Isle of Wight’s top tourist attractions, and received an 116% increase in Google searches over the past 12 months. The vineyard is normally open every day in summer for the public to visit, and scored highly in terms of facilities available. Adgestone is one of the few vineyards studied that offers accommodation. Visitors can either book into self-catered outdoor shepherd huts or a rustic holiday cottage. The vineyard also offers tours, lunches, live music and friendly farm animals - meaning dogs are not welcome on site. 

Pre-covid, Adgestone produced around 19,000 liters of wine a year, accounting to nearly 25,000 bottles. The vineyard also produces the only blue coloured sparkling wine in the country - marketed as the perfect ‘something blue’ wedding gift. 

#3 Chapel Down is the third-best vineyard to visit in the UK - as Kent vineyards make up 50% of the top 10

Image: Chapel Down

Chapel Down located in the beautiful Kent countryside rounds up the top three, also scoring a Vindex score of 93.75 out of 100. Half the top ten vineyards are all located in Kent which has become an attractive location for wine growers due to its excellent soil composition and exposure - living up to its name as the ‘Garden of England’. Kent has the largest span of planted vines out of all UK counties at 1,031 hectares. This is nearly three times more than Sussex in second place with 383 hectares. 

As the UK’s wine industry leader, Chapel Down offers an award-winning range of still and sparkling wines, as well as distilling and brewing their own gin, vodka, beer and cider. In the North Downs, near to the market town of Tenterden, Chapel Down is open to the public throughout the year and offers a range of facilities. It’s popularity is reflected by having the highest Google search volume out of all UK vineyards, at an average of 14,800 searches in the past 12 months. 

Chapel Down allows visitors to explore the vineyards free of charge, and also offers paid experiences ranging from seasonal guided-tours, wine and cheese tasting and numerous masterclasses. The vineyard also has an on site restaurant and deals with partnering hotels for accommodation packages. Chapel Down has received over 300 visitor reviews on Google, averaging at 4.7 stars. 

#4 The Mount Vineyard is the fourth best vineyard to visit in Britain

Image: Secret London

The Mount Vineyard in Kent scored 93.27 out of 100, making it the fourth best vineyard to visit in the UK. Close to Seveonaks, the M25 and with direct train links to London the Mount Vineyard is a popular destination for wine lovers, and has been welcoming guests since 2016. 

Thanks to the unique microclimate of the Darent Valley, the Mount Vineyard is able to produce a range of still and sparkling wines. Visitors that get to experience the process from grape to glass have rated the vineyard an average of 4.6 Google stars.

The vineyard is open all year round and scored highly in the index for it’s facilities that can accommodate any weather, from winter wine-tasting to summer tours, pre-ordered picnics and movie nights. The Mount Vineyard also has an on site bar and restaurant and can be hired out for external events, which is dog and child friendly. 

#5 Biddenden Vineyards ranked as the fifth-best vineyard in the UK

Image: Biddenden Vineyards

Biddenden Vineyards in Kent concludes the top five vineyards to visit in the UK, with a Vindex score of 91.95 out of 100. Established in 1969, Biddenden is Kent’s original vineyard which now produces award-winning wines, ciders and juices. 

Just outside the village of Wealden, the Biddenden estate currently spans 23 acres, housing 12 different grape varieties and producing around 80,000 bottles a year.  The vineyard saw a 52% increase in Google searches over the past 12 months and scored highly in it’s range of facilities available to the public. It offers self and private guided tours, an on site shop and other special events causing visitors to score Biddenden an average of 4.8 stars on Google.

The most sought after global destinations for a fresh glass of wine, straight off the vine

As flights and international travel begin to pick up again we also decided to take a look further afield. We wanted to find out where the top holiday destinations abroad for wine lovers are. 

We conducted an analysis into twenty of the biggest wine producing countries in the world and compared each of them against five key criteria: 

  • Total area of vineyards located there in hectares
  • Annual wine production
  • The percentage of global wine exports
  • The average consumption of wine per litre within the country
  • Average search volume and trends for ‘wine’ within the country

Read on for a breakdown of our top twenty. 

#1 Spain is the leading destination for globe-trotting wine connoisseurs

Spain’s 969,00 hectares of prime vineyards produce an estimated 44.4 million hectolitres of wine each year. This keeps some of their 46 million residents watered as well as producing 9.40% of the world’s global exports for wine. This makes Spain the third largest exporter of wine in the world.

These impressive figures are only further backed by the country’s vigour for their grapes. A whopping 30 some bottles are estimated to be consumed per adult each year alone. Most fervently known for its xx wine, it’s no surprise Spain came out on top with a perfect score of 100 out of a maximum 100 on our index.

#2 Second place is taken by China with a score of 92

Taking second place is an unlikely victor, China. It may be little known for its wine but the country has a long history of producing and exporting the beverage. According to a report by Forbes[1] the first mention of a vineyard lies back in records from the Han Dynasty in the second century, proving China’s historic relationship with the grape. Now, China has some of the largest vineyards by hectares, sitting at a sprawling 875,000 ha. The country also produces an average of just 9.3 million hectolitres of wine each year, and as the industry grows this is set to increase.

#3 France

Rounding off the winner’s podium is France, a country with a rich and plentiful history in the art of winemaking. France’s sprawling flat landscape is ideal for growing a variety of delectable grapes and perfect for vast vineyards. So much so that France has over 789,000 hectares of vineyards scattered across it’s historical wine regions like Bordeaux, Languedoc and Alsace. France also produces a healthy 49.1 million hectolitres of wine per year. This accounts for 29.5% of the total amount of wine exported globally, making it the world’s biggest vino exporter. France scored a respectable 82 out of 100 on our global ‘vindex’ ranking. 

You can find the full list of 20 top countries to visit for their wine below.

Rank

Country

Vineyard (Ha.)

Wine Produced (Million Hectolitres)

% Global Exports

Bottles per capita per year

Avg. search volume "wine" within the country

Average search trend %

Index score (out of 100)

1

Spain

969,000

44.4

9.40%

30.7

3600

-17

100

2

China

875,000

9.3

1.00%

N/A

1000

-18

90

3

France

789,000

49.1

29.50%

54.6

4400

-19

82

4

Italy

702,000

54.8

19.60%

50.4

5400

-33

73

5

Turkey

448,000

0.5

0.03%

N/A

880

0

46

6

United States

430,000

23.9

3.90%

N/A

210

-33

44

7

Argentina

219,000

14.5

2.20%

24.8

720

-18

23

8

Chile

212,000

12.9

5.30%

16.7

880

-54

22

9

Portugal

192,000

6.1

2.50%

71.5

1900

0

20

10

Romania

191,000

5.1

0.10%

30.8

590

0

20

11

Australia

145,000

12.9

5.80%

33.5

1600

0

15

12

South Africa

125,000

9.5

2.10%

N/A

1300

-54

13

13

Greece

106,000

2.2

0.30%

25.2

2900

-71

11

14

Germany

103,000

9.8

3.30%

32.3

1900

19

11

15

Brazil

82,000

3.1

0.02%

N/A

210

-18

8

16

Hungary

69,000

3.6

0.30%

33.1

720

0

7

17

Bulgaria

64,000

1

0.10%

19.1

320

-19

7

18

Austria

48,000

2.8

0.60%

36.5

590

0

5

19

New Zealand

39,000

3

3.20%

30.6

1900

23

4

20

Switzerland

15,000

1.1

0.40%

43.4

320

85

2

*N/A is used where data was not available for that country

Methodology

To find the best vineyards to visit in the UK, Magnet analysed over 230 vineyards that are open to the public. Creating an index each vineyard was scored on the same criteria, including Google reviews, available facilities* and their average Google search volume and trend. 

*The facilities were scored out of a potential 11 on what was available at each vineyard. The facilities analysed included accommodation, restaurant/cafe, child friendly, disabled access, online shop, dog friendly, outdoor eating, organic, tours available, vineyard trail and winery on site. 

Figures correct as of September 2021. 

[1] Cathy Huyghe’s report “7 Things You May Not Have Known About Wineries And Vineyards In China” (Forbes, 2017)