Cheers! Local vineyards you’ll love
English wine is officially having a moment so top up your glass with a drop from one of these local Suffolk & Cambs vineyards.
What? Saffron Grange is well-known in the area for its award-winning sparkling wine. The family-run local vineyard has been running on the site since 2008 and the team now have four delicious wines for you to buy. And why the Woolly Mammoth logo, we hear you ask? That’s because tusks and teeth of these ancient giants have been unearthed in the River Slade which runs along the bottom of the site!
Where? It’s based in Little Walden, just on the border of Cambs and Essex – on the sunny southern slopes of the village, which combined with the perfect chalky soil conditions (the same chalk seam that runs through Northern France) makes for very happy grapes.
How do I try? You can buy directly from the vineyard’s website here.
Stand-out sip The Classic Cuvée is a delight – a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier.
What? The vines at Wyken Vineyards were planted back in 1988 and there are now some 12,000 vines which produce around the same number of bottles a year. It’s one of our favourite places to visit with a shop, Leaping Hare restaurant and gardens and walks to be discovered.
Where? Wyken is part of a 1200-acre farm on the outskirts of Stanton in Suffolk. Seven acres are devoted to vines which produce award-winning wines.
How do I try? All wines are sold through the website, shop or at the Moonshine Cafe – a renovated old farm workshop with a wood-fired pizza oven that started as a project during lock down is now permanent, with an al fresco area with fire chimneys and heaters to keep you toasty. There’s a Saturday farmers’ market, so you can pick up some lovely local food to go with your drink too!
Stand-out sip: The Bacchus, a dry wine with the character of a sauvignon blanc, which was a Gold Medal Winner in 2017.
What? Giffords Hall is a family-run vineyard planted around 25 years ago on the site of an ancient glacial riverbed (good soil for grapes apparently!).
Where? You’ll find Giffords a few miles outside Bury St Edmunds in the pretty village of Hartest. In the summer vineyard tours and tastings are available and The Cellar Door Shop sells some lovely gifty bits including candles, cards, and glassware.
How do I try? You can buy directly from the vineyard or find bottles at the Suffolk Food Hall and Waitrose.
Stand-out sip: The range of wines includes an aromatic Bachhus and a fruity red Pinot Noir blend, but its the award winning Giffords Hall Rosé that you’ll find us knocking back regularly.
What? Shawsgate is one of Suffolk’s oldest vineyards (planted in the 1970s) and so has a great range of white, red, rosé and sparkling wines from its 20 acres of vines. It’s a nice place for a day out as there’s a play area, space for picnics and you can do a tour followed by afternoon tea.
Where? The vineyard is just outside Framlingham in Suffolk, so you can combine a tour of the vines with a tour of the castle for the perfect day out.
How do I try? Bottles are available online or from the vineyard shop. We’re also loving their latest offer – lease your own vines! If you purchase quite a bit of wine (ahem) then this is a fun option, they’ll grow the grapes, create a mix to your taste and bottle it up for you and hey presto, a year’s worth of wine, boom.
Stand-out sip: Sparkling Rose Blush Frampaign NV, they had us at ‘a light bouquet of delicate citrus and summer roses’. Best drunk chilled in a garden.
What? This 8-acre vineyard was planted back in 1987 but taken over by current owners Elaine and Vanessa in 2014 when they were looking for a change in their pace of life! They produce five types of grape, specialising in white, rosé, blush and sparkling wines.
Where? Wissett (near Halesworth) in Suffolk. Tasted a few too many glasses of the good stuff during a visit here? Probably best to book yourself in to the holiday accommodation on site – The Cabin-in-the-vines!
How do I try? Bottles are for sale at the vineyard, online and at local stockists
Stand-out sip: The Madeleine Angevine dry white is an award-winner. Their English sparkling “Sundancer” is a lip-smacking local alternative to champers.
What? Chilford Hall Vineyard is owned by the Alper Family, who made their money in the Little Chef chains. But don’t worry, the wines produced here are much classier than your average Little Chef fry up! The first vines were planted in 1972 and it is now one of the most famous and celebrated vineyards in East Anglia.
Where? Chilford Hall is near Linton, a village outside Cambridge. The 20 acres of vines are situated on the rolling chalk hills of the Cambridgeshire Downs, which have similar soil to the Champagne region. The winery holds wine tasting and tours through the summer months and has a shop in the stunning grounds of the Hall, with is eclectic collection of art, sculpture and architectural oddities on display in the gardens.
How do I try? You can buy directly from the website or visit for a tour and tastings followed by afternoon tea, though they tell us they’re now fully booked for 2021 – bookings for 2022 open in January.
Stand-out sip: The Chancellor (great name!) is a light sparkling wine that has won awards for its green apple, pear and lemon zest flavours.
What? There’s been a vineyard here for more than 25 years and the onsite winery (powered by renewable energy sources) now produces a sparkling wine, whites and a red.
Where? This 40-acre vineyard is on the edge of the Stour Valley in the beautiful Constable Country (technically Essex, but close enough to the border for us to claim it as Suffolk!).
How do I try? There’s a vineyard shop and you can buy the bottles to be delivered at home directly from the website. There’s also a tasting barn for (you’ve guessed it) tastings, weddings and other events.
Stand-out sip: If you’ve got something to celebrate, crack open a DV Sparkling English Brut 2013.
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