Hampshire aims to add a little extra sparkle to 2021 with award-winning wineries planning new attractions and experiences… including a chance to stay in woodland treehouses with rolling vineyard views.
While the UK’s wine industry may be a newcomer compared to those of France, Spain and Italy, English sparkling wine has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and Hampshire can lay claim to producing some of the best.
Helped by the warm climate and similar chalky terrain to the Champagne region, the county is home to a host of vineyards, many of which offer tours and tastings.
And for 2021, vineyard visitors look set to enjoy even more sparkling experiences.
England’s oldest commercial vineyard, Hambledon, is aiming to unveil an underground cellar with a new visitor centre above, all overlooking the vineyards nestled on the edge of the South Downs.
Spread across more than 200 acres, and the only gravity-fed, state-of-the-art winery in the UK, Hambledon Vineyard is already a popular spot for ‘behind the scenes’ tours and tastings in its new £2.5m winery, which opened in 2013.
It now plans to continue its expansion, and in 2021 will open a new tasting room and visitor centre. Work is already well underway on extending wine storage capacity in an underground cellar, with the new visitor centre located above (https://bit.ly/385waoz).
Meanwhile at Black Chalk, crowned Newcomer of the Year in the 2020 WineGB Awards, not only are there tours and tastings, but also a rare chance to sip sparkling wine in individually designed woodland treehouses overlooking the vineyard.
Tucked away in woods flanking the Test Valley vineyard is an exclusive small development of new luxury treehouses, operated by Wild Escapes.
The four treehouses, which opened in September 2020, are the vision of Will Hardy, a master craftsman who has created four incredible spaces in the woods of Fullerton Farm, bringing together stunning design, sustainability and the sparkle of some very local wine.
With rolling vineyard views, and treetop bathtubs, the treehouses are the perfect spot to relax with a glass of something very local chilled from the fridge, and as a base to head over to the winery for a tour as well as explore the beauty of the Test Valley. From £260 per night (https://bit.ly/3e9ls1j).
Visit Hampshire has a special section on its website featuring vineyard attractions and tours: https://bit.ly/3p8ZXCN
For general tourist information about Hampshire, and for the latest updates, see www.visit-hampshire.co.uk