You don’t need to go to France or Italy to find delicious wine. Many British vineyards are creating delicious varieties. Here’s a selection of the ten finest British wines.
Three Choirs Vineyards – Ravens Hill (2013)
This red wine comes from grapes grown in a vineyard in Newent, Gloucestershire, that produces 11 other wines. Three Choirs Vineyards was named the English wine industry's winemaker of the year in 2008.
Parva Farm - White and Rosé
Husband-and-wife team Judith (ex-florist) and Colin Dudley (ex-garden centre worker). Produce high-quality wines from their land in the Wye Valley, near the Welsh border. Their Bacchus 2012 was served at a European summit in Brussels. And their 2013 rosé has won many awards.
Chapel Down – Rosé Brut
Gold-medal winning wine from a bustling wine-growing operation in Small Hythe, Kent, that began in 1977 and now is one of Britain's biggest.
Ancre Hill - Sparkling White
Took first prize in the 2012 World's Best Sparkling Wine competition, held in Italy. Vineyard owners Richard and Joy Morris hold daily tours and serve Welsh cheeses in their handsome, slate-floored barn near Monmouth, south Wales (you can even stay the night).
Camel Valley Vineyard – Pinot Noir
Grown at a Cornish vineyard, founded in 1989 by ex-RAF pilot Bob Lindo, and now run by his son, Sam. This year, the Queen toasted the visiting president of Mexico with Camel Valley Pinot Noir at a Buckingham Palace state banquet.
White Castle Vineyard - Sparkling Rosé
Vineyard owners Robb and Nicola Merchant planted 2,000 wooden posts and 40 miles of wire on their slopes at Llanvetherine, near Abergavenny. Now they produce high-quality sparkling rosé, along with whites and reds.
Ridgeview Vineyard – Blanc de Blancs
This second generation winery, founded in 1994 and set in the South Downs near Brighton, specializes in sparkling wine. It has won four gold medal awards and numerous silvers.
Renishaw Hall – Madeleine Angevine 2013 (white)
This is one of many award winning wines produced by this vineyard, planted 43 years ago at Renishaw, Derbyshire.
Denbies Wine Estate - Sparkling Whitedowns 2011
Britain's biggest visitable vineyard - less than 30 miles from Central London, near Dorking – produces this classy drink.
Ryedale Vineyards – Wolds View 2013 (white)
Created at Britain's most northerly vineyard at Westow, North Yorkshire.
All of these vineyards run tours and tastings; check times before visiting. For more UK vineyard information, visit the UK Vineyards Association website, at ukva.org.uk and follow the Wine Trail of Wales at winetrailwales.co.uk
Interested in wine tasting? Find out about the key taste areas of wine.