Hush Heath Estate is a wonderful, perfectly manicured vineyard in Staplehurst, Kent. I was lucky enough to win a VIP wine experience so my friends and I were treated to a private tour and wine tasting.
The vineyard is absolutely beautiful, we got to walk around the many acres of land and look at the vines and orchards, it was tour and work out in one. Hush Heath also boasts a beautiful woodland and they have worked hard to encourage wildlife including owls and deer.
What I really liked about Hush Heath, was that you got a real sense of the pride and care that goes into each and every bottle of wine or cider that they produce. The owners, who live in a house overlooking the estate, are really involved in the wine making. They care about their produce and it shows. The vineyard is perfectly manicured, they have looked back through historical records to name the vineyards after the names they had on the farm maps in the 1820s. Our tour guide, Cheryl, was wonderful. She told us that the owners light candles underneath the vines when there is a frost or fog so that the grapes are not damaged…We all began to understand why the price of the bottles can seem expensive; it really does reflect the care that is put into them.
We got to see the bottling and labelling process, the tour was really informative and our guide was able to answer all of the questions that we had.
The vineyard has a beautiful shop which sells their range of wine and ciders. The ‘flagship’ bottle is the Balfour Brut Rose, it’s a delicious sparkling wine and could definitely hold its own against many champagnes. The bottles of wine are named after the owner, Richard Balfour-Lynn and his family, a really cute idea. They work together to run the vineyard.
Our favourite wine was the Chardonnay. Perhaps tainted by experiences of Blossom Hill growing up, I’m not usually a Chardonnay fan. However, this Chardonnay was so light and delicious that we had to buy a case of it. At the moment if you buy a case of 6 then you get one bottle free – who can refuse an offer like that? The bottles range from around £14 for the wines to £35 for the sparkling wines. The ciders are also tasty and very reasonably priced, we really enjoyed the still cider too.
The tour was really fun, the vineyards were just wonderful and the tasting was delicious and relaxed. Our tour guide, Cheryl, was fantastic and really took care of us. The pride that the staff take in what the vineyard do is very clear and if you’re lucky enough to taste the liquid gold then it is clear why.