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LIVE 24-SEVEN


72


WOODCHESTER VALLEY TASTING TOUR


LewisLoves.com is a Cotswolds and South West lifestyle blog run by Adam and Sarah Lewis, sharing the very best the area has to offer. “Food is a particular passion of ours, and we can't wait to share our hidden gems with you. You can also follow us over on Twitter @adamlewisloves and Instagram @sarahlewisloves for foodie inspiration and much more besides."


Having celebrated English Wine Week last month, we jumped at the chance to visit Stroud's very own Woodchester Valley for a tour and tasting. Warmly greeted by the affable Simon, he was everything you could want from a vineyard host. With a glass of Bacchus swiftly poured as an aperitif, we settled into the cosy tasting room as Simon began his fun presentation about wine growing at Woodchester.


Considering they’ve only been growing grapes since 2007, they’ve come a surprisingly long way producing multiple award-winning wines and over 100,000 bottles last year thanks to the kind weather. Having taken us through the history of the vineyard (it was actually recorded as a vineyard in the Domesday Book!), Simon proceeded to take us around the vineyard itself. Although we've visited plenty of distilleries and breweries, amazingly we've never visited a vineyard properly, so it was fascinating to see the processes and detail that goes into making a bottle. We also briefly met head winemaker, Jeremy, who has brought a wealth of experience from vineyards around the globe to Woodchester.


Our tour complete, we got down to the important business of tasting the wine itself. Considering the tour only costs £15, you get a welcome drink, and five generous samples of their current range. Pretty reasonable we'd say, although fingers crossed you're not the designated driver! Simon took us through the different flavour profiles of each wine, highlighting the grape varieties used and how Woodchester choose grapes that really work in the UK climate. That's the reason you'll see varieties like Bacchus produced by so many UK vineyards.


You can also stay over at Woodchester Valley which is a great idea of you want to really make an outing of it. We sadly had to go home but we left with several bottles, including their crisp Bacchus, winner of a 2018 Decanter Silver medal, with aromas of elderflower, and a citrussy finish. Also, in our boot was some incredibly fruity Pinot Noir Rosé, bursting with strawberries and raspberries. That's definitely going to be a summer evening staple for us! If you've never visited a UK vineyard before, we can't recommend Woodchester Valley highly enough - it's fascinating to see what goes on behind the scenes of your favourite tipple.


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WINING & DINING L EWI S LOVE S


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