Terlingham Vineyard just outside Folkestone, Kent is a very special place indeed.
The Wilks family came to England from South Africa in 2007 looking for adventure. They had a love of the great outdoors and an enthusiastic interest in wine, but no farming or viticultural experience. So, buying a vineyard in 2011 seems like a massive leap of faith. But for the Wilks it was love at first sight. “It felt like home right away… not least because our grandparents were born and raised in nearby Ashford before emigrating to South Africa. So coming ‘home’ felt just right.”
Terlingham Vineyard is a pretty 4 acre site just north of Folkestone on the Kent Downs with fabulous views over the English Channel to France. Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Bacchus, Dornfelder and Rondo grapes grow in the wonderful chalky soils and go into their small range of wines.
It’s a family run business in the true sense of the word with mum, dad and their three grown up daughters all taking an active role. Dad Graham was a solicitor and developer who had never “worked the land” before. So he enrolled into Plumpton, the esteemed college that has trained so many English wine makers, and learnt his craft. Mum Lorna had run a landscaping business in SA for many years, so working a vineyard seemed like heaven. The sisters Caroline and Jackie gave up corporate jobs in the city to run the tastings and hospitality side of the business. Ashleigh does the creatives. This strong family unit is very much the heart and soul of the Terlingham Vineyard experience, whether you’re staying in their luxury lodge or drinking a glass of their delicious rosé.
Although not from a farming background the Wilks had strong ideas about what’s best for their land. And for them that means farming as naturally as possible. When they bought the vineyard in 2011 it was about 5 years old and had been farmed commercially with chemicals. A few years in and they decided to change all that. They don’t use any artificial pesticides, fertilisers or herbicides. They encourage natural habitats and all the insects that come with them. And everything in the vineyard is done by them, by hand. Lorna Wilks looks after all 5,500 vines tending to each one by hand at least 30-40 times in each growing season. “These are very needy babies, but I love each one.”
Terlingham Vineyard is a proud member of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain Scheme. They are carbon negative and in 2022 absorbed more carbon than they admitted. They will be fully certified organic by 2025.
Terlingham Pinor and Rondo rosé is a light and delicate rosé, but still with plenty of character. Wild strawberries with a long zesty grapefruit finish.
This rosé pairs beautifully with light pasta dishes, salads, seafood and grilled fish. It’s also an excellent accompaniment to fresh or young cheeses. Here we’ve paired it with a tomato and herb salad, all freshly picked from the garden.
We built MARASBY to be a trusted place where you can find helpful and interesting content about British-grown food and wine.
Our content is written by humans who love local, sustainable and delicious UK wines. We make every effort to check our content, but as humans, we occasionally make mistakes. If you spot anything wrong with the site, we’d always rather you told us. Don’t be shy!