Kent has long been known for its hops but in recent years has gone from strength to strength when it comes to the production of wines and beers. New vineyards and breweries pop up regularly and go on to have great success and win national, and international, acclaim.
Kent has experienced somewhat of a ‘wine renaissance’ recently and has fast become the prime English county for wine production. There are now more than 50 beautiful vineyards across Kent producing a range of high-calibre wines.
The South-East is the leading location for wine production for a number of reasons. The soil in Kent has a chalky consistency similar to that of the famous Champagne region in France providing excellent growing conditions. Kent’s cool climate also provides the ultimate environment for growing fantastic grapes.
It’s not just the natural conditions, though. Wine production in Kent has been significantly improved through the introduction of new grape varieties, developments in disease control as well as innovations in growing methods.
Some of the best…
Of course, Chapel Down Vineyard near Tenterden is renowned for producing fine world-class wines. Their wines are hugely revered and, as a favourite of the British embassies, they are served all around the world. Rumour has it; one of Chapel Down’s sparkling rose wines was served at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Their wines are also served at the Turner Contemporary Gallery and the Royal Opera House.
But there are far more than Chapel Down.
Biddenden Vineyard, for example, is Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard and is set across 23 stunning acres. They produce a light red, medium white wines and a dry rosé.
And at the heart of the Garden of England, Hush Heath Winery is another beautiful vineyard producing exquisite wines and cider. Their speciality is a blush sparkling wine, Balfour Brut Rosé.
We pride ourselves on stocking local wines so always ask for a recommendation!
Kent has always been famous for its beer, with Shepherd Neame able to claim the title of Britain’s oldest brewer. However, there are a great many fantastically interesting, experimental, quirky and internationally acclaimed breweries in Kent that you should keep in mind.
Curious is Chapel Down’s brewery, and has followed in the vineyard’s footsteps by building a big name for itself across the UK and the world. They produce fantastic IPAs, lagers, ciders and porters.
Another of our favourites are Whistable brewery. They’ve been around 10 years now, and their cask ales and keg beers have won prizes and distribution across the country. We particularly like them for the vast variety they produce, meaning we can rotate through their selection and try different things.
We also love Musket Brewery, a microbrewery based at Loddington Farm, Linton. We rotate through their beers at The Windmill regularly and they’re very much a favourite among the locals.
There are so many more that we could mention but the best way to find out for yourself to Pearson’s Arms, The Windmill or Thackeray’s and ask after our current favourite Kentish drinks! One of our upcoming events will surely provide a good opportunity.