Imagine an English wine tour and thoughts might naturally turn to Hampshire, Kent or Sussex.
But from this summer, there’s a new kid on the block… Yorkshire.
And an East Yorkshire vineyard is the driving force behind the brand new wine trail, launched during this year’s English Wine Week.
With a rich winemaking history dating back to Roman times, Yorkshire is a surprising, but premium, wine producing region with 16 commercial vineyards producing in excess of 100,000 bottles of wine each year from nine wineries.
Now, for the first time, a Yorkshire Wine Trail will bring together seven top vineyards across one of England’s lesser-known vineyard destinations.
Featuring some of the county’s most interesting wineries, as well as the best places to stay, England’s newest trail launched during the 2021 English Wine Week of 19 to 27 June.
Stretching from West Yorkshire to the East Yorkshire coast, and including parts of North Yorkshire, the new trail offers a chance to discover new wines and vineyards, and provides top tips for accommodation and eateries, as well as links to more visitor information for each area.
Among the vineyards is family-owned and run Laurel Vines, set in a small East Yorkshire rural hamlet, which came-up with the original concept for the new trail.
Ian Sargent and his wife Ann started the venture in Spring 2011 with just a few thousand vines, and now has around 12,500 producing a range of medal-winning white and rosé wines – with plans to produce English sparkling wines in the very near future.
Daughter Rebekah is also heavily involved in the business, and the family prides itself on being a low carbon, low environmental impact vineyard, using local ingredients wherever possible, and crafting wines that are high in quality but with a ‘down-to-earth’ feel about them.
Ian has worked with wineries across Yorkshire to create the new trail, which covers two vineyards in East Yorkshire along with like-minded vineyards near to Harrogate, York and Leeds.
East Yorkshire’s other vineyard, Little Wold, is also family-run and is tucked away in the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds with stunning views, 12,000 vines and more award-winning wines.
A recent winner of the Farmers Weekly ‘Diversification Farmer of the Year’ award for 2020, Little Wold also has a quirky way of naming its wines. Its first white wine, ‘Barley Hill’, for example, is named after the crop once grown where the vineyard now sits; while its first red, ‘Three Cocked Hat’, is taken from the shape of the fields, where surrounding woodland creates three points resembling a hat – a name that goes back to before the family took over the farm in the 1940s.
Completing the new Yorkshire Wine Trail are Leventhorpe Vineyard, Carlton Towers Walled Garden, Yorkshire Heart and Ryedale Vineyards. Tourist spots highlighted on the trail, meanwhile, include places to stay, eat and drink in Beverley, Harrogate, York and Leeds.
For more information on the new Yorkshire Wine Trail, see www.yorkshirewinetrail.co.uk
For news and updates on East Yorkshire as a destination: www.visiteastyorkshire.co.uk