High Clandon to launch new vintage sparkling wine with Spirit of Christmas event
PUBLISHED: 15:40 30 October 2016 | UPDATED: 17:35 30 October 2016
Art and sparkling wine combine near Guildford, as High Clandon Estate Vineyard hosts a Spirit of Christmas event to launch their new vintage - and a spectacular Glass Barn tasting room too
Need to know:
Where: High Clandon Estate Vineyard, Clandon Downs, High Clandon GU4 7RP. Tel: 01483 225660. Web: highclandon.co.uk
When: High Clandon’s Spirit of Christmas open days take place on Sunday November 13, 11am to 4pm, and on Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20, 11am to 4pm – with bookable visits available in between those dates.
How much: A £5 donation supporting East Clandon-based charity Cherry Trees, who provide respite care for disabled children in Surrey
Tucked away off hidden lanes near East Clandon, you’ll find a house worthy of any of Kevin McCloud’s favourite Grand Designs.
A hunters’ lodge with uninterrupted views to London, this spectacular private property is owned by South Africans turned long-time Surrey residents, Bruce and Sibylla Tindale.
It also happens to boast a further hidden gem within its sprawling grounds: the boutique High Clandon Estate Vineyard, which has had those in the know bubbling over with enthusiasm since its foundation in 2004.
What started as a hobby for the irrepressible pair remains a hands-on project today – but despite its intimate scale, they are now picking up international awards (three golds, a silver and two bronze medals in the past two years).
They call their take on English sparkling wine, Quintessence, in the full confidence that the best of our nation’s bubbles will surpass Champagne in the future.
A vintage launch
Once a year, Bruce and Sibylla throw open their beautiful home to launch the latest High Clandon vintage, with a special sculpture garden and charity fund-raiser – and all sparkling wine lovers are invited.
This year’s open day event, Spirit of Christmas, takes place in November. As well as the spectacular views, architecture and artwork, visitors will find a brand new tasting room – the beautifully constructed, Glass Barn – in which to try the star of the show, the vineyard’s special vintage reserve 2010, Celebration Cuvee.
Having had six years maturation, it has been released to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday, as well as the owners’ son’s wedding this summer, and exudes crispness and character.
The plaudits have already flown freely and, in August 2016’s Decanter magazine, it was ranked highly recommended in a round-up of 92 English sparkling wines – and featured in master of wine Richard Hemming’s overall top three.
Intriguingly, the event will also see the introduction of Essence of High Clandon, a distilled liqueur infused with botanicals from the Surrey Hills and honey.
So there we have it: a rare visit to one of Surrey’s hidden gems; sparkling wine and mince pies to try; a brand new vintage sparking wine from Surrey to buy; and art and gifts from Surrey Hills-based artists for those Christmas stockings. We’ll toast to that.
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