Friday and Saturday combined vineyard, winery and tasting tours, plus private tours for groups organised at a time to suit you.
Oxney Estate is just 10 minutes away from the Difford's Guide office and we first met the folk at Oxney on a company get-together which included a private tour for us all followed by tasting. For most in our company it was the first time they'd walked among vines in a vineyard and learnt about the winemaking and particularly the steps involved in making sparkling wines. A visit to Oxney and this picturesque part of Sussex makes for a great day out.
Combined vineyard, winery & tasting tours
Tours of the vineyard, winery and a guided tasting start at 10.30am on Fridays and Saturdays from mid-April until the end of October (please check oxneyestate.com). The guided tours by one of Oxney's knowledgeable team last around 90 minutes so finish around midday – perfect timing to finish with a picnic lunch (see below).
The tour will give you an insight into the English wine revolution and the challenges of winemaking in a cool climate and how this can be achieved fully organically, including a full explanation of the winemaking process and a look inside the winery housed in a listed square oast house complete with wooden cowl. The tour finishes in the tasting room with a guided tasting of Oxney's still and sparkling wines, all of which are for sales in the winery shop.
The tours cost £20 per head. See OxneyEstate.com/vineyard-tours for dates and to book.
Post tour picnic lunches
After the tour, enjoy a well-presented English willow picnic basket with organic Sussex cheese, charcuterie, olives, chutney and bread plus other local snacks and of course chilled wine.
These lunches are best enjoyed at a table in Oxney's winery observatory at the top of the building or on the edge of the vineyard under a tipi roof to shade you from the sun. Or you can even grab a picnic rug and head out into the vineyard proper.
Each £40 lunch basket is for two (£20 per head) and must be booked in advance separately after booking your tour.
Private tours can be arranged at a time and any day (apart from Sundays) to suits you and such tours, for parties of four or more, cost £25 a head. To book, call +44 (0)1797 260 137 (option 1).