Nestled on the banks of the River Dart, Sharpham Vineyard is one string to the Sharpham Trusts bow. Another being a heard of red tractor assured Jersey cows that produce the most outstanding cheeses that fit so well with the individual character of Sharpham’s award winning wines. Alongside this, and in the main house designed by Sir Robert Taylor, there are various wellness and yoga courses on offer. I personally couldn’t think of a better way to relax than on the hillside over looking the river and the picturesque vines.
My Sharpham excursion with friends Angel and Sarah was taken on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We were met on site by Josh and Tom. Two very knowledgable fellows who were to be our Vineyard guides for the afternoon.
The tour started with a little history of the thousand year old farm and how the 1770 house was designed. Sir Robert Taylor was a notable architect of the day and also designed The Bank of England amongst others. We moved slowly from the house, the gardens and then onto the first set of vines. A personal favourite grape variety of mine is the Madeleine Angevine. I have not yet tried a wine made from this varietal that I haven’t liked. It was here that we stopped to try the wine produced from these very grapes. You could ask for no better setting! The Estate Selection is produced with 100% Madeleine Angevine grapes which creates a refreshing, citrusy wine that would be fab drunk on a hot summers afternoon alongside some barbecued fish and crisp salads. Josh, our guide, mentioned that it was particularly good with crab and I don’t doubt that at all.
From here we moved down the valley to our second tasting, The Sharpham Bacchus. Made with 100% Bacchus grapes, this wine is crisp and slightly off dry. A good wine on its own or with food but for me not my favourite unlike my friend Sarah. I find with Bacchus one glass is enough for my pallet but for others it is very quaffable!
We made our way down the valley further to the banks of the river where the third tasting was held. It was the turn of some fizz. That delicious pop of the cork heralded one of the finest sparkling wines in this country in my opinion. Made in the traditional method. It’s crisp, dry and the perfect aperativo!
Back up the hill towards the winery and through the vines we were able to take in the beauty of our surroundings. Sharpham Vineyard is truly set in one of the most idyllic settings. The green rolling hills in the distance, the River Dart at the foot of the vines and the memorable Sharpham house really do add to the ambiance of the experience.
Once back at the winery we were talked through the storage and bottling process before sampling some red alongside some exquisite Sharpham Dairy cheeses. We are not really known in this country for our reds. Our specialty in my opinion are the sparklers where we have won numerous prestigious wine awards. The Sharpham red is made from 100% Pinot Noir and I found it very fruity. Perfect alongside the creaminess of the cheeses.
It was in the winery where our tour finished. We were ushered to the bar area to sample more wine by the glass or bottle if we desired and of course to the shop where I couldn’t help but leave with a few goodies!
My friends and I were booked on the Vine to Wine tour priced at £19.95 per person but other tours and tastings are available.
I think my friends Angel and Sarah would agree that at £19.95 for about 2 hours of knowledge, tastings and views, it is well worth the fee. I loved every minute and want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the team at Sharpham for organising my trip. I will be back bringing more friends guaranteed!
A massive thank you to Angel Wade Photography for the wonderful footage and photographs.
Disclaimer: I was kindly given complimentary tickets to the tour but as always views are my own.