If you are planning a holiday in the foodie paradise that is Devon, I recommend checking out some of the county’s best vineyards while you are there. If you are Wine lover, you can also check out the post I wrote Wine Lover? What Would You Say About This One?. While English wine may not have quite entered the mainstream, its reputation is definitely growing, and discovering this nascent industry is a really exciting part of any stay in this corner of the UK.
Personally, whenever I am travelling to a destination that’s got a great reputation for its food, I try to stay in self-catered accommodation. This is because I’m then free to use local produce to experiment with recreating famous regional dishes, as well as eat out whenever I please. If you’re interested in doing the same, take a look at the selection of holiday homes in Devon offered by SykesCottages.
Turning our attention back to the vineyards in Devon, here are some that you shouldn’t miss during your stay.
Sharpham Wine and Cheese
Sharpham is a good all-round treat for keen gastronomes, since as well as offering some truly excellent wines, you can buy carefully crafted cheeses here too. You’ll find this establishment in South Hams, where it uses both New World and traditional techniques to produce its outstanding wines.
Sharpham has been making wine for around 25 years, and its experience in the industry certainly shines through. It has received regional, national and international awards for its tipples, so expect these to be some of the best you’ll taste on your trip.
Until the end of September, tours will run seven days a week – even on bank holidays. The most comprehensive package is the Sharpham Wine Experience, which lasts four hours and carefully takes you through the wine-making process. This tour also includes lunch, so I’d thoroughly recommend it to any committed foodie.
Pebbled Vineyard is a much more recent addition to the Devon wine landscape, but it already enjoys a strong reputation. It opened in 2002 growing grapes on Ebford Field, before expanding on to West Hill and then Clyst St George.
Come here and you can discover its excellent flagship wine, Pebblebed Sparkling Rose 2009, as well as newer wines such as Pebblebed White 2010, which is made with 60 per cent Madeleine Angevine and 40 per cent Sauvignon Blanc.
You can take tours here on Saturdays at 11:00 or 15:00, or Tuesdays at 16:00, which you can book online.
Old Walls Vineyard
Old Walls Vineyard is a lovely place to visit, particularly when you bear in mind that some 2,000 years ago the Romans also used this area as a base for viticulture. Located in Bishopsteignton, this vineyard produces fruity wines and offers both individual and group tours.
Around 20,000 litres of wine here are produced each season, with some of the varieties on sale including Father John Country Wine, Chapel White and Quality Sparkling Brut. It’s also worth visiting the Old Walls Tea Rooms and Shop while you’re here, where you can treat yourself to a tasty afternoon tea while admiring the great views over the surrounding countryside and pick up a few bottles of wine to take back to your holiday home.