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Upperton Vineyard Tours & Afternoon Teas
The English wine industry is booming, with more vineyards in this country than ever before. Andy Rogers from Upperton Vineyards explains why, and outlines his plans to put Upperton firmly on the map.
An Epic Journey
Andy Rogers planted his first vines in the quaint village of Upperton near Petworth, West Sussex, in 2005. Starting with a trial of just 800 vines Andy embarked upon what is turning out to be a truly epic journey.
Having owned Upperton Farm for some years, he sought ways to exploit his beautiful surroundings. In 2004 he discovered high quality wine from English vineyards and realised the potential of Upperton’s fertile slopes, and planting commenced the following spring.
During the course of 2005 Andy secured the mentorship of Ridgeview, world respected English sparkling wine producers from Ditchling near Lewes, in East Sussex. Under their guidance, 12,500 vines were planted in 2006 comprising the three main Champagne varieties of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Further plantings in 2008 and 2010 grew the vineyard to its current 32,000 vines.
Why the Increase?
“We’ve seen an increase in English vineyards recently due to English wine producers such as Ridgeview winning international sparkling wine competitions. They are beating famous Champagne houses such as Moët & Chandon and Charles Heidsieck”, said Andy.
His son James who manages the vineyards added, “The climates and soils of the South of England are comparable to the Champagne region and we have seen how English wines are capable of matching any Champagne. With this combination, no wonder we’ve seen such a sudden increase in plantings across the South of England.”
Upperton on the Tourist Map
2012 marks the first summer of wine sales and events at Upperton Vineyards. In addition to selling their sparkling wine, they have packed their summer calendar with wine-related events.
“We really want to make Upperton a destination of choice, attracting people into the area and ultimately boosting the local economy”, said Andy. “We are keen to make wine fun and educational. By drawing visitors to the vineyard and by running events we hope to put Upperton firmly on the tourist map.”
English Wine Week 2nd-10th June 2012
During English Wine Week (2nd – 10th June 2012) Upperton will be serving afternoon teas on their viewing deck overlooking the vineyards and the South Downs beyond. Tours and afternoon tea with a glass of Upperton sparkling wine costs £18.50 per person, to book please call into the vineyard shop, phone on 01798 343695 or email email@example.com.
Upperton Vineyards are working with Experience Card, London’s exclusive members-only experience club, to offer their members 33% off the vineyard tours and afternoon teas (£18.50 usual price, £12.33 with Experience Card). In addition, Experience Card is giving away two free tickets to a member for this experience, please see the Experience Card website for more information on how to join to receive the discounts and also be in with a chance to win: www.experiencecard.co.uk/experience_provider.php?id=200.
Other Wine Events
The following events will also take place during English Wine Week as well as at other times in the year. For details or to book online see www.uppertonvineyards.co.uk. Upperton are also offering Experience Card members 2 for 1 on the vineyard tours and 33% off their wine courses. Please see the Experience Card website for more details: www.experiencecard.co.uk.
Upperton vs. the World of Sparkling Wine
A wine evening where Upperton wines challenge Champagnes, Proseccos and Cavas, comparing styles and quality. 7pm – 9pm, £35.00 per person (£23.33 with Experience Card).
Wine in a Day
Upperton demystifies the world of wine by guiding guests through the major types of red and white from around the world. 10am – 4pm, £99.00 per person including a two course lunch (£66.00 with Experience Card).
Shop, Tours and Tastings
The vineyard shop is open Thursday – Saturday from 11am – 5pm.
Tours are also available Thursday – Saturday at 1:30pm (with an additional 3pm tour on Saturdays). Tours cost £5.00 per person and run for approximately an hour and include a tasting of the wines (available on a 2 for 1 basis with Experience Card).
About Experience Card
Experience Card is London’s members-only experience club that gives members either 2 for 1 or a minimum 33% discount on carefully selected experiences across and around London. Our range includes wine tastings to photography classes, polo lessons to vineyard tours, paintballing to cupcake making and many other exclusive offers, inspiring our members to make the most of the city and surrounding areas: www.experiencecard.co.uk.