Charlotte Harding finds a place near Chichester where you can enjoy a glass of fizz and beautiful views.
Waking up with views of a vineyard or having an evening drink while the sun sets sounds like something you could only do in Australia or South Africa.
However, all this and more can be enjoyed right here in Sussex at Tinwood Estate.
Nestled next to Goodwood and at the edge of the South Downs National Park it has a vineyard, tasting rooms and three luxury lodges.
Designed for ‘unparalleled comfort’ each lodge includes a two person Jacuzzi, free use of mountain bikes, private decked terrace, extra large king size bed, a shared barrel sauna and of course a fully stocked fridge.
“It is something that I saw in New Zealand,” explains Art Tukker, owner of Tinwood.
“There it had an open vineyard and I loved the idea of people being able to connect with the vineyard and what we do here.
“Tin and wood are both wedding anniversary milestones so we get people staying here for those, and we have had proposals.
“There is always a party going on here.”
Art is a second generation farmer and took over the farm from his father in 2007. The idea for the vineyard came when he fell in love with the production side when he was out in New Zealand.
“I planted the first vines myself,” he says.
“We planted 28 acres in 2007 and now have more than 65 acres of vines, with the three main Champagne varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
“When I got the land I just saw the opportunity that we would be able to do it here as we have the perfect soil and microclimate for the grapes.”
Six years after the vines were planted the first bottles were available to buy in 2013.
“It is a waiting game, there is no way it is a get rich quick scheme,” explains Art.
“It is a yearly cycle and I love the satisfaction you get when you harvest and see what you have and then bottle it and it goes round and round.”
Tinwood has three varieties of English Sparkling Wine, the Blancs de Blancs which is created using 100 per cent Chardonnay grapes and is dry with green apple flavours and a fresh clean finish; the Brut which is 50 per cent Chardonnay, 30 per cent Pinot Noir, 20 per cent Pinot Meunier and has taste notes of citrus and melon fruits with a lingering honey and brioche finish and there is also a rose which is comprised of 60 per cent Pinot Noir, 20 per cent Pinot Meunier, 20 per cent Chardonnay.
As they are never sure of how good the harvest will be Art explains that they try and keep the flavour consistent but there may be subtle differences.
“This year we have had the best harvest ever,” enthuses Art.
“I think because over the summer we had a very Mediterranean climate which has just given the vines a push. We have harvested a lot and the wine will be out in 2021.”
It also has its own honey which it serves drizzled on cheese paired with the wine.
The vineyard has tours seven days a week at 3pm each day, and as part of this people get to sample all three of the sparkling wines on offer.
“We are really excited as we are in the process of building a brand new state of the art tasting room in 2019,” he says.
“It will a bigger and more comfortable space for people to enjoy.”
Time to raise a glass to a bright future at the Tinwood Estate.
For more information on Tinwood, visit www.tinwoodestate.com