As English Wine Week (15th – 25th June 2024) rolls around, it’s high time to swap your usual vino for something homegrown and head to Wiston Estate in West Sussex. Nestled in the heart of the South Downs, Wiston Estate offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and top-notch wines.

Wiston Estate is steeped in history, having been in the Goring family since 1743. Today, it’s a family affair with Harry and Pip Goring leading the charge, supported by their son Richard and his wife Kirsty. The vineyards, which were first planted in 2006, thrive on south-facing chalk slopes—soil that’s strikingly similar to the famed terroir of Champagne, France. This unique setting, along with the mild climate, produces top-notch Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.

Notable offerings include the Brut NV, a vibrant introduction to English sparkling wine, and the award-winning Blanc de Blancs 2018, with its rich flavours and flinty minerality. For those who prefer a rosé, the Rosé NV delivers aromatic notes of rhubarb and red fruit, making it a delightful choice for balmy summer evenings.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the winemaking process with tours of the vineyards and winery. You’ll get a firsthand look at the traditional Champagne Coquard press—the only one of its kind in the UK. Tasting sessions are a treat, with options like the lively Brut NV, the elegant Blanc de Blancs NV, and the refreshing Rosé NV. Each wine tells the story of the estate’s exceptional terroir, with flavours ranging from crisp green apple to aromatic rhubarb.

Dining at Chalk Restaurant is a must. Opened in 2021, Chalk occupies a beautifully restored 18th-century barn. The menu is a love letter to Sussex, featuring seasonal ingredients sourced from the estate and local farms. Expect starters such as Sussex Charmer, Roasted Onion Tart & Waldorf Salad and Juniper Smoked Salmon, Salt-Baked Beetroot, Pine & Horseradish, followed by the likes of Corn-Fed Chicken Breast, Charred Hispi Cabbage, Shiitake Mushroom & XO Sauce, and desserts such as Tiramisu & Skylark Coffee Ice Cream.

Wiston Estate Winery and Chalk Restaurant North Farm Pulborough RH20 4BB