Vineyard restaurants to visit. Chalk at Wiston in West Sussex

4 Great Vineyard Restaurants To Visit

Discover world class vineyard dining experiences with the Marasby guide.

Treat yourself to an unforgettable experience dining near the vines with the Marasby guide to 4 great vineyard restaurants to visit. It’s a very exciting time to be interested in English and Welsh wine. The number of vineyards and wineries is growing year-on-year and more and more are opening their gates to visitors. While we don’t yet have the wine trains of Franschhoek and Napa Valley, our wine tourism is booming. It comes in all forms. From sharing a glass or three with winemakers in their urban wineries to pop-up cinemas among the vines and vineyard safaris in vintage Land Rovers.  However, my favourite incarnation is the vineyard restaurant.

The Growth Of Our Wine Dining Tourism

There is nothing I love more than jumping in the car to escape London and discover a new vineyard and the surrounding area. After a tour and tasting, and having taken advantage of the cellar door, I typically find myself incredibly peckish. A vineyard restaurant is met with the same excitement as when McDonald’s golden arches appear out of the post-night out gloom. Vineyard restaurants offer a different expression of the terroir. Their menus are often centred around a “field to fork” concept. They celebrate local produce and show you how best to pair their wines with food. The restaurants are also beautiful spaces – often crafted with incredible views over the vines. I think this is English and Welsh countryside hospitality at its best.

Picture this – the setting sun bathing the vines in an orange glow, you’re surrounded by your favourite people and plates of delicious food with a Blanc de Noirs keeping you hydrated.

Welcome to my happy place. This can be yours too. Make a trip to any of these 4 vineyard restaurants – I promise it will be worth it!

4 Great Vineyard Restaurants To Visit

Chalk restaurant at Wiston Wine Estate

#1 – Wiston Estate, West Sussex

The Lowdown

As you arrive at Wiston Estate from the nearby seaside town of Worthing, you get a tantalising glimpse of newly planted vines adorning the hillside. You’re then escorted by more vines from the entrance to the beautifully designed courtyard which houses the winery, tasting room, shop, and restaurant. It’s immediately impressive. You know you’re in a safe space, where your hardest decision will be choosing which bottles to take home.

What’s equally impressive is how the Goring family have created such a welcoming, relaxed oasis when, with 6,000 acres to play with, they have the scale available to make it much bigger. Yet, intimacy is at the heart of their philosophy. Intimacy with their land, its produce, their local community, and those who visit Wiston each year. There is so much on offer here. You can explore the estate the family have looked after since 1743 by foot, bike, or on their sundowner safari tour. You can try some of their rare vintage wines at special tastings throughout the year or squirrel yourself away for the night in The Pump House at the foot of the South Downs. It should be the next vineyard you visit – I’ll be definitely going back.

Pouring a glass of Wiston English Sparkling Rosé

Style of Wiston’s Wine

Taking advantage of the estate’s flint-scattered soils and chalk base, Wiston’s first vineyard was planted in 2006. Today, 37 acres are under vines, focussing on the Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir. The family’s respect for their land drives their sustainable viticulture approach and winery processes – avoiding herbicides, allowing sheep to graze in between the vines during winter, and distilling any leftover grape juice for gin or vodka. In the winery, a Coquard wooden press stands proud among old oak barrels.

Dermot Sugrue, who now has his own label “Sugrue South Downs” with his wife Ana, was their first winemaker, with Marcus and Megan Rayner-Ward now leading the charge. Fermented and aged in barrel and tank, they allow the wines to mature in their cellars for years. Time well spent as Wiston make some of the best traditional method sparkling wine out there. Their range is fantastic – their Blanc de Blancs NV and Rosé NV should be staples of your summer BBQ. Yet, it’s their Estate Blanc de Noirs 2014, which really stands out. So smooth and creamy with lovely rhubarb notes. It is one of my favourite wines and worth the trip down alone!

Wiston Estate restaurant in the garden

Wiston’s Chalk Restaurant

Wiston’s restaurant “Chalk” is a destination in its own right. And is right up there in our list of 4 great restaurant vineyards to visit. It’s a beautiful space – high ceilings, decorated with Matilda Goad sculptures, and a grand bar in the middle welcoming guests.

They offer a set Estate Menu, structured as a set five course dinner with certain courses paired with their own wines and select others. Their food is a celebration of fresh local produce from the estate and its neighbours. We were treated to cured South Coast mackerel for one of the starters and Sussex pork with New Forest asparagus as the main centrepiece. My wife Hannah is a vegetarian and we are always big fans when a restaurant offers a separate vegetarian tasting menu. Chalk didn’t disappoint and we all agreed it was some of the best food we’ve had in a while. With flawless, friendly service to match. Michelin-starred executive chef Tom Kimble and Head Chef Bradley Adams are working magic there.

It was the highlight of a brilliant day at Wiston. Straight into my top 3 English vineyard experiences!

Wiston Estate Trip Itinerary

Base yourselves at the recently renovated The Railway Hotel in Worthing. It’s then a 20 minute drive to Wiston, where you can do a tour and tasting in the afternoon. To bridge the gap to your Chalk reservation in the evening, The Gun Inn in Findon is only five minutes’ away. It’s a cracking 17th century pub which won Great British Pub of the Year 2022. Then totter back to Chalk for an incredible meal. On your way back home the following day, pop into Palate Bottle Shop in Shoreham-by-Sea for its fantastic range of English wine.

Visit Wiston Estate

Squerryes vintage english sparkling wine table

#2 – Squerryes, Kent

The Lowdown

The 2,500 acre Squerryes estate has been in the Warde family for over 300 years. Eight generations have presided over their remarkable site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the North Downs. So beautiful that a well-known Champagne house tried to buy some of the land in 2004. This inspired John Warde and his son Henry, now the current owner, to plant 36 acres of their own vines in 2006. Fast forward to today and their Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir vines sprawl over a bucolic 50 acre plot. “It is permitted to be joyful” is their family motto and at the heart of their approach to winemaking and hospitality.

Squerryes firmly believe Kent is one of the best regions for producing wine and want to create joy for future generations by sharing their wine which is a truly local, one-of-a-kind product. Squerryes are certainly delivering on that front. To great acclaim from visitors and wine critics alike. They have won buckets of awards. None more impressive than being the only English wine estate to have won a gold medal for six consecutive vintages in the World Championships of Champagne and Sparkling Wine.

Everyone needs joy in their life so make the trip to Squerryes. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Style of Squerryes Wine

With considerable acreage to play with, Henry and his father landed on an ideal site. Their chalk soils echo the treasured Cote des Blancs region of Champagne. At 150 metres above sea-level, they are 1 degree cooler than most other vineyards in South East England. This gives them long moderate summers and cool evenings. Perfect growing conditions for their Champagne varieties.

Squerryes have a deep respect for their terroir, recognising it’s a key driver behind their success. So much so that, like Wiston, sustainability with a long-term view is a priority for them. As Talya and Simon learned when visiting Henry at the estate. Their love of their land and patience across longer growing seasons yields well-balanced fruit that’s worth waiting for. These grapes are then the only ones used in their traditional method sparkling wines.

Squerryes focus on producing exceptional vintage wines. After first fermentation in stainless steel tanks, each wine goes through malolactic conversion and then aged on lees with varying levels of dosage. They don’t like to rush their wines – with their Late Disgorged Vintage Brut Reserve 2011 left on lees for 94 months! It’s time well spent as that wine was awarded ‘Best in Show’ in the 2021 Decanter Wine Awards, placing it in the top 50 wines of the world. Their Blanc de Blancs 2015 is also worth hunting down – buy it here – as is their Rosé 2020.

Why Squerryes Makes Our List Of 4 Great Vineyard Restaurants To Visit

Inspired by the world-class hospitality of Napa Valley vineyards, Squerryes have lovingly created a brilliant restaurant “The Bottle Store” at the heart of the estate. Led by rising star Head Chef Seamus McDonagh at just 32 years old, the restaurant focuses on sustainable dining and seasonal dishes. The menu is built around livestock from the estate, bounty foraged from its woodlands and fields, and the best of local produce handpicked from local farmers and producers within a 30 mile radius. The Warde family have nurtured deep relationships with their local community in Westerham and beyond, which is great to see.

Like their wines, their restaurant has been a big success and was awarded two AA Rosettes earlier this year. With views across the vineyard and wider estate, you can feast on estate beef and grass-fed lamb. Vegetarians are well catered for with dishes like the mouthwatering spinach and ricotta tortellini in Baron Bigod custard. My dream custard.

The restaurant has an excellent wine list too, authored by Master of Wine Laura Evans. To cap things off, in the summer the restaurant is taken outside to the beautiful “Terrace”. When you add in the Squerryes Deli and their plans for a Tasting Bar (where their wines will be paired with individual tasting plates), then you are in foodie heaven. Epic.

Squerryes English bottle shop

Squerryes Wine Estate Trip Itinerary

The Kings Arms, a Greene King inn, is the perfect base in nearby Westerham. Take advantage of one of the many idyllic walking trails in the area before alighting at the Westerham Brewery to rehydrate. It’s then a very short trundle to Squerryes for a tour of their vineyard and afternoon tasting. Finally, the pièce de résistance – a meal at the restaurant. With The Kings Arms only a 3 minute taxi ride away, you could fit in a nightcap before bed – if you have any room left!

Visit Squerryes

Tinwood Estate English Vineyard Restaurant in Autumn

#3 – Tinwood Estate, West Sussex

The Lowdown

It’s clear that 2006 was an important year for English wine. While Squerryes and Wiston planted their first vines, Art Tukker took over the family farm near Chichester. The 275 acre estate at the foot of the South Downs started life as an iceberg lettuce farm under Art’s father Aad. A pioneering farmer at the time.

In studying an agriculture and farming degree, Art looked set to follow in his father’s footsteps. Until he had a moment of inspiration that growing vines instead could be the way forward. Eager to learn more, he moved to Marlborough in New Zealand in 2005. An excellent training ground for cool climate viticulture. There Art learned from the best in Mike and Claire Allen – who used their Cloudy Bay pedigree to set up the fantastic Huia Estate. This formative experience, coupled with increased competition from supermarkets and mass production farming, convinced Art that they should pivot to vines. And so in 2007 the lettuces were replaced with 48,000 vines across 28 acres.

Today, Tinwood Estate has grown to include a tasting room, restaurant, and eight luxury lodges with amazing views over the vines. Art and his wife Jody have built an incredible visitor experience, heavily influenced by the relaxed and welcoming nature of Malborough’s vineyards. With Wiston only 30 minutes’ away, it would be rude not to do both on a weekend!

Style of Tinwood’s Wine

Since 2007, Art has gradually expanded the vineyard. With the latest planting in 2022, it now stands gallantly at 110 acres. They focus on Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, and Pinot Noir, taking advantage of their wonderful terroir. A flint, gravel loam topsoil sits on top of wonderful South Downs chalk. Being only 3 miles from the sea also helps to keep dreaded frosts away. Perfect conditions for growing high quality fruit. And a wonderful example of a typical Sussex vineyard.

Tinwood partner with Ridgeview Wine Estate to make their delicious vintage sparkling wines. With Art heavily involved throughout the winemaking process with the Ridgeview team, the finished bottles are returned to Tinwood to rest in their cellars for a minimum of two years. It’s a winning combination as their Blanc de Blancs 2017 picked up gold medals at the 2021 WineGB Awards, 2022 International Wine and Spirit Competition, and 2022 International Wine Challenge. Their Brut and Rosé styles have also attracted critics’ praise. Yet, it’s their Blanc de Noirs Limited Edition 2018 I really want to get my hands on. 2018 is generally known as one of England’s best vintages and tasting notes of toasty biscuit and blackcurrants really speak to me. Tinwood wines can be found on Marasby here. Happy shopping!

Tinwood's Vineyard Kitchen in W Sussex

Why You Should Visit Tinwood’s Restaurant

As a generational farming family, the Tukkers lovingly care for their land. Determined to leave the estate in even better condition for the next generation. Their love and warm hospitality make it a great place to visit. So much so that Tinwood was crowned English Vineyard of the Year for 2023.

Under the talented Head Chef Santo Buscilgio, Tinwood’s “Vineyard Kitchen” draws people back again and again. With amazing views of the vines, Santo has created a tapas-style menu sourced from the best local produce and crafted to pair with Tinwood wines. Dishes like aubergine cutlet, pork belly porchetta, and baked barrel aged feta cheese with honey. Mouthwatering. I think I have a cheese problem. This is food to be shared with friends and family. Food to be devoured after a tour and tasting. Food for the soul.

Tinwood Vineyard Trip Itinerary

If you’re lucky enough to have Goodwood tickets, then why don’t you squeeze in a trip to Tinwood too. If not, get the full Tinwood experience by staying in one of their cottages. Each cottage comes with its own jacuzzi bath and use of the barrel sauna and mountain bikes to explore the area. With your own private terrace overlooking the vines, there’s no better hideaway. Indulge yourself in a tour and tasting before taking advantage of The Vineyard Kitchen until it closes at 5.30 pm.

Visit Tinwood

#4 – Kinsbrook, West Sussex

The Lowdown

Weighing in with just over 56,000 vines, Kinsbrook are the David to Squerryes’, Tinwood’s, and Wiston’s Goliath. And boy do they punch above their weight. In Joe Beckett and Rebecca Dancer you have some of the UK’s youngest vineyard owners. An exciting new wave which shows that our wine future is very bright. And it all began with Joe’s travels to New Zealand in 2017, 12 years on from Art Tukker’s own adventure. Feeling similarly inspired to plant vines on his family’s land in Thakeham, Joe embraced the challenge.

Tackling overgrown fields that required draining, Joe planted 20,000 vines initially. With no technical training or staff to help, he mothered them himself – calling on his family’s farming experience. “Kinsbrook” combines “kin” (which is centred on family and connection) and “brook” (as flowing brooks cut through their main sites).

They certainly were an important connection for the local community when the pandemic hit in 2020. Joe and Rebecca served coffee and cakes from a converted horsebox and opened up the vineyard for people to walk their dogs and have picnics. While they have since expanded their site, their focus on family and the local community remains. It really is a must-visit oasis and I’m excited to see where they take it. The sky’s the limit.

Kinsbrook’s Style of Wine

As Joe demonstrated with his first vines, adaptability is a key pillar of their approach and this is evident in their winemaking too. Without their own winery on site, they worked with Dermot Sugrue for their debut release of a Vintage Cuvée Brut 2014, alongside a Bacchus and Pinot Gris. By 2020, they were producing 13,000 bottles of Bacchus, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Rosé and 10,000 bottles of sparkling wine.

However, low yields in 2021 led to a change of direction. A white blend of Bacchus, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir Précoce named “21” was born. An honest reflection of the vintage difficulties they faced, but one that proved very popular. So popular that “22” is the currently available next iteration, with Chardonnay and Reichensteiner thrown into the mix. They have also recently released their first ever red wine – “chough au vin”. This is a juicy number made from Rondo in a Beaujolais nouveau style. It heralds the launch of their new range “kith” – the cooler younger sister to their flagship range which celebrates more experimental winemaking techniques. With a traditional method sparkling white and Rosé also on their shelves, Kinsbrook really have something for everyone.

Why Kinsbrook Makes Our List Of 4 Great Vineyard Restaurants To Vist

As you drive into Kinsbrook, you are met by the incredible Kinsbrook Farmhouse. Beautifully designed with big windows, it gives you fantastic panoramic views of the vineyard and lake. The Farmhouse houses their restaurant and a farm shop of dreams, which includes a butchers and deli. In the farm shop, you can stock up on quality local produce and sample Kinsbrook’s wines by the glass. It’s impossible to choose between the English cheeses on offer or the alluring baked goods. However, don’t ruin your appetite there.

Climb the stairs to the restaurant for the main event. Inspired by Joe and Rebecca’s favourite laid-back wine bars, Head Chef Jackson Heron will treat you to a delectable breakfast and lunch menu 7 days a week. As with the other restaurants in this piece, Kinsbrook celebrate the best their county has to offer together with a banging wine list. Their Sunday Roast Club has devout members and their Supper Clubs look amazing. With live music every Sunday, Kinsbrook continues to be the centre of their community. How far they have come since 2020!

Kinsbrook Vineyard Trip Itinerary

Horsham is only a 20 minute drive away. If you’re celebrating, or just feeling fancy, treat yourself to a stay at South Lodge Hotel & Spa. From there, head over to Kinsbrook. Be sure to explore the vineyard and take a moment of quiet reflection by the lake. Then relax into lunch, before heading back to South Lodge with a car full of goodies from the farm shop. You’re welcome.

Visit Kinsbrook

And finally

This is just a small selection of great vineyard restaurants to visit in England.  It’s the perfect time of year to get out there and explore.

Related posts