Suffolk is home to a number of excellent and often picturesque vineyards and also produces a range of exquisite wines. A trip to a Suffolk Vineyard is more than just a way to make some high-quality purchases – although, if this is your main aim, then you won’t be disappointed!
A visit to a Suffolk Vineyard makes for a great day out for couples, friends and families – as well as being appropriate and enjoyable to both the connoisseur and the novice alike. Many vineyards are open to the public and are based in areas of natural beauty. Some offer activities such as guided tours and wine tastings, and some have onsite Farm Shops where you can purchase their wares direct. Below is an overview of each Suffolk vineyard and its facilities to help you choose which one to visit.
Valley Farm Vineyards, Wissett
Valley Farm Vineyards is nestled in an idyllic spot just outside Halesworth in the part of Suffolk known as the Waveney Valley. It is an 8-acre site growing a variety of grapes which are used to produce a range of
wines, including the national gold medal-winning Madeleine Angevine – a signature grape of East Anglia. Vanessa and Elaine are passionate about what they do and about being sustainable too. You are welcome to visit the Vineyard, take a tour and sample their wines – and perhaps have a glass with your picnic.
Address: Valley Farm Vineyards, Rumburgh Road, Wissett, Halesworth IP19 0JJ
(please call to arrange a visit)
Telephone: 07867 009967 www.valleyfarmvineyards.co.uk
Wyken Vineyards, Stanton
Just 9 miles North-East of Bury St Edmunds is Wyken Vineyards which is a 7-acre vineyard found just beyond the beautiful Wyken Woods. Wyken produces 4 delicious white wines as well as a rosé, Wyken Pink, and light & tasty beer, Good Dog Ale. Their white wine, Wyken Bacchus, has won the English Vineyard Association’s ‘Wine of the Year’ award. All of these wines and more can be sampled and purchased in the Leaping Hare restaurant and shop, which is nearby and located within a 400-year-old barn. The vineyard is open to visitors, free of charge.
In addition to the vineyards, restaurant and shop, visitors will be delighted to discover Wyken Hall, a charming Elizabethan manor house that is surrounded by four acres of stunning gardens and is open to the public during the summer. The gardens are a truly spectacular sight and make for a fun day out in their own right – children, in particular, will love wandering around (and getting lost in!) the maze. Finally, a farmers’ market is held at Wyken Vineyards every Sunday, where visitors may purchase high-quality local produce to take home with them. With such an abundance of things to see and do, Wyken Vineyards makes the perfect day out for the whole family.
Address: Wyken Road, Stanton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 2DW
Telephone: Restaurant: 01359 250287 Shop: 01359 250262 Estate Office: 01359 252372
Shawsgate is one of East Anglia’s oldest commercial vineyards and produces an exceptional range of all varieties of wines, each prepared on the on-site winery. Shawsgate also offers ‘Experience Days’, which can be booked online on Saturdays and some Fridays between May and August. Experience Days are the best way to learn more about wine and wine-making whilst enjoying a fun day out.
The days begin with a friendly welcome over tea & coffee, followed by a guided tour of the vineyards and the winery. Visitors will be able to taste a selection of wines and then enjoy a delicious, homemade buffet lunch prepared from locally sourced ingredients and – of course – wash it all down with a glass of one of Shawsgate’s delectable wines. At the end of the day, visitors will get to take a complimentary bottle of wine home with them. This is the ideal way to learn more about wine and gain first-hand experience of the wide range of flavors each has to offer – and all in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Address: Shawsgate Vineyard, Badingham Road, Framlingham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP13 9HZ
Telephone: 01728 724060
Willowgrange Vineyard, Ipswich
Address: Stone Street, Ipswich, IP6 9SY
Telephone: 01449 760612
Giffords Hall, Hartest Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP29 4EX
The vineyards at Giffords Hall were established over 25 years ago on a very old site, formerly church land, on what was believed to be a glacial riverbed. Giffords Hall Vineyard is family-owned and situated at the heart of the Upper Stour Valley. Hartest is a picturesque Suffolk Village with the famous Wool Towns of Long Melford, Lavenham and Clare close by. As one of the premier vineyards in East Anglia, Giffords produces some of the ‘best of breed’ Bacchus and rose wines in particular and has enjoyed great success over the last few years at a national and international level, winning numerous gold medals and trophies.
Giffords Hall is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11-4 pm from April to September, and from November to December for Christmas. See their website for online shop, gift and tour vouchers. There are Group tours run every month in summer, as well as private tours for groups. There is a small al fresco café for teas and coffee, cakes and ice creams on-site, open at Weekends only and an attractive shop offering wines and gifts.
Telephone: 01284 830 799
Mersea Vineyard Ltd
Address: Rewsalls Lane, Colchester, CO5 8SX
Carter’s Vineyards, Colchester
Address: Green Lane, Boxted, Colchester, Essex CO4 5TS
Telephone: 01206 271136
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