Planning a wedding isn't just about booking a venue and photographer, there are all of the small details to think about too. Couples are constantly looking for new ways to make their weddings stand out from the crowd, and to be memorable (for all the right reasons!). One way to do this, is to really think about the little details that make your day special to you as a couple. You've probably spent hours deliberating menu choices, picking food that you both love, and that your guests will too - so why not put the same effort in when it comes to choosing your wedding wines?
We are so lucky to have fantastic vineyards here in the South East - why not add an extra special touch to your day by choosing local wines? AND, you can have fun in the process by visiting them and tasting the wines for yourselves! It's a win win!!
I must add a disclaimer here - I am by no means a sommelier or wine expert - I just have a passion, as a planner, for helping people to create weddings that are unique to them; and I think incorporating a local wine, or a wine with meaning to the two of you, is a great way! It's really sad, but nearly 5 years on, I still feel the need to say 'we had that wine at our wedding!' if I ever spot a bottle of ours out and about!
So here goes; a selection of some of the vineyards that you can find in Kent and East Sussex - I will post links so that you can check them out and arrange tastings etc. It's just a list to help get you started!
Biddenden Vineyards, Biddenden, Kent - Started by the Barnes family in 1969, and currently being run by the second and third generations. Biddenden Vineyards don't just produce still and sparkling wines, they also make cider and juices - you can get all of the drinks for your wedding in one place!
Chapel Down, Tenterden, Kent - Chapel Down produce both still and sparkling wines; with most of their wines being grown on vineyards in the chalky North Downs of Kent. You can actually get married at Chapel Down, just outside of Tenterden, if you wanted!
Balfour Winery, Hush Heath Estate, Staplehurst, Kent - Balfour produce over 400,000 still and sparkling wines every year, as well as their own craft beers and ciders. Balfour own a range of their own pubs and hotels across the South East, London and the Cotswolds too.
Gusbourne, Appledore, Kent - As well as their vines in Appledore, Gusbourne also have acres next to the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex. Gusbourne produce both still and sparkling wines - with the grapes being hand-picked by their skilled vineyard team.
Nine Oaks Vineyard, Hothfield, Kent - A family run vineyard, who are committed to making small batch, estate grown wines. With their first ever harvest in 2022 - this boutique vineyard has created two still wines - a Pinot noir rose and a Chardonnay - which can be ordered online or at local retailers.
Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex - Based in the South Downs, just outside of Alfriston - this vineyard is quite special to me. I used to spend my summers baling the steep south facing slopes with my step-dad when I was a teenager. Now it is a successful vineyard producing sparkling wines.
Hidden Spring Vineyard, Horam, East Sussex - Established in 1986, this vineyard has grown dramatically since re-purposing some of the land in 2015. They now have over 24,000 vines planted across 13 acres, growing 5 different varieties of grapes; they produce a mixture of still and sparkling wines.
Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard, Sedlescombe, East Sussex - Established in 1979, Sedlescombe is England's oldest organic vineyard. The grapes are grown with a strong emphasis on caring for the land and the environment; bringing sustainability to every element of the process that they can.
As I said at the start of this blog, I am by no means a wine expert; but I hope that this list gives you a great place to start searching for your wedding wines!
If you want to find out more about how I can help you make your wedding reflect you as a couple, then please get in touch via my website - The Country Blush.