Nestled in the heart of the Weald, some 5 miles North of Tenterden is the picturesque Biddenden Vineyards. Priding itself on being family run, it is currently managed by the second and third generation of the Barnes family.
Originally home to 40 acres of apple orchards, the Barnes family decided to diversify when apple prices started to decline in the late 1960s. Mrs Barnes was inspired to try viticulture after listening to a feature on BBC Woman's Hour, by 1969 one-third of an acre of vines had been planted and Biddenden Vineyards was born.
Today their single estate vineyard spans 23 acres on a gentle south facing slope situated in a sheltered valley. 11 different grape varieties are gown here to produce an array of award winning White, Rosé, Red and English sparkling wines.
The vineyard is open to the public daily throughout the year, with free admission and tastings.
If you are just passing there is a self guided tour around the vines for you to take a stroll at your leisure and the shop is open for refreshments, tastings and gifts. Dogs are welcome, but must be on leads.
The vineyard shop is open daily and is stocked with a vast selection of local artisan foods including local cheeses, locally brewed beer, local spirits, a wide range of preserves and chutneys plus Biddenden’s own honey. Biddenden Vineyards and many of the producers who supply them are members of Produced in Kent – a membership organisation dedicated to championing local food, drink, products and services in Kent.
Kentish cheese and charcuterie sharing platters are available and prepared to order and their full range of wines, ciders & juices are available to enjoy by the bottle or the glass. They also serve tea, coffee & a selection of locally produced cakes.
As Biddenden Vineyards celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, an exciting milestone to have reached at an exciting time for English, and especially Kentish wine. This is a perfect time to visit and discover the beauty and complexity of English wine produced in the heart of the Garden of England.