English wine: yay, nay, or what the hey? Whenever you land on the spectrum of English wine awareness and appreciation it’s worth noting that there’s more and more of it being made these days and that some of it is very good indeed (especially English sparkling wine).
Among the standouts and best established is Three Choirs vineyard and winery in Gloucestershire (yes, Gloucestershire!). But Three Choirs isn’t just a working winery with 30-hectare vineyard. It’s a B&B with guest lodges placed among the rows vines and an fantastic little restaurant as well.
Kemey and I had a lovely weekend away back at the end of October with an overnight stay at Three Choirs.
We drove there from London, and once past the M25 we really enjoyed the roughly three-hour trip across the Chilterns and through the Cotswolds. The Vineyard itself – set upon a green and rolling piece of countryside – was also a delight to behold. We loved the view from our room and private patio. Heck, we loved our room – so quiet, fairly spacious and impeccably clean, with a big comfy bed.
We loved our dinner at the restaurant too. I had no complaints about my Herefordshire 8oz 28-day aged sirloin with duck fat chips, wild garlic butter and red wine jus nor did Kemey about her roasted sea bream with buttered samphire, crushed Cornish new potatoes and lobster oil. We were both pleased with our shared starter – a seafood platter with Cornish mackerel, king prawns, Thai fish cakes, and locally smoked salmon.
Paired with our meal were Three Choirs wines of course. These (and the ones tried during a tour of the vineyard and subsequent tasting) were a treat. A glass of Wickham Oak Aged Red 2015 (made with grapes from Three Choirs other vineyard in Hampshire) went down a dream with my steak. Other notable quaffs from the visit were the May Hill 2015 (an easy drinking, citrus-y white) and a rather rich and aromatic Siegerrebe 2015. All the wines had during our stay were tasty – and all reasonably priced as well. Aside from Three Choirs Classic Cuvée (which is £16.25), there’s no bottle costing more than £15 with a good number of wines available for purchase for less than a tenner.
The vineyard dates to 1973, which is actually pretty old compared to most English wineries in operation. Three Choirs is also the most awarded winery in the UK. For a relaxed weekend escape to the countryside with great food and quality wines keep this Gloucestershire gem in mind!
Three Choirs is located in Newent, GL18 1LS. Find out more at three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk.