First on our ventures came Hush Heath in the gorgeous setting of Goudhurst. We set off on a quite miserable January afternoon to take a tour of the Vineyards with our host Cheryl. When we arrived at the Vineyard for our tour the weather had not improved but spirits high we were welcomed warmly into the vineyard and soon set off on our walk. The main buildings were soon behind us as we started to walk towards the orchards and vineyards, capturing a site of the magnificent manor house up on the hill set in the most beautiful countryside that the rain could not dampen. Whilst walking, our tour guide gave us the history behind the Balfour-Lynn family who purchased the manor house in the 1980’s and the creators of such a beautiful estate. Throughout the tour we gained understanding of the growing and harvesting process’ and met the family who look after all of the vines throughout the year who were taking a little shelter from the rain. One story which truly shows their commitment to the grape, was of a rolling frost that came in one night following a short spell of early spring warmth. The warm weather had encouraged the grapes to grow a little earlier in the year than normal and so when the frost hit they had to protect their bounty. They were soon out there amongst the vines in the middle of the night wearing their pyjamas with warming candles, trying to keep all of the vines from frost bite until the morning sun came and took over. Although a hard life to lead, you can see their commitment and love for the vines which goes to make such a great wine. Continuing on our walk we entered the gorgeous ancient oak woodland area that has been preserved for the natural balance of the country side including bee hives so that the pollination process can help the natural growth and development of the environment in which the vines grow. The blackberries that grow wild in the woods also help to naturally flavour the grapes, plus we were told are a great forest snack in the right season.
Back in the winery we were talked through and shown the process that the grapes go through to create such crisp delicious sparkling and still wines. With the Ferrari of all machines helping in the process, it really was a sight to behold. All of this was concluded with a very tasty session in the tasting room, we enjoyed a variety of 6 different wines including Nannette’s English Rosé that we sell here at the Kings Head. The Sparkling Apple wine was an especially great hit with the team.
For more information on this great family run English winery, check out their website hushheath.com. If you are thinking of making a weekend of it why not stay with us, we can arrange for a car to pick you up from here, take you to the winery for a tour and bring you back to us here in Wye, where you can then relax with an evening meal and a stay in one of our rooms.