I expect you have noticed as you travel along the roads of Dorset that a lot of fields are now growing grape vines where sheep once grazed. The warmer climate that we are enjoying makes it perfect to grow grapes and then to make fantastic Dorset wines. Furleigh Estate is one of these, it was established in 2005 when Ian & Rebecca Hansford purchased the farm and meticulously turned it into the world-class vineyard and winery it is today.
We were invited on one of their regular tours that they hold every Friday & Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm which lasts for about 90 minutes and at a bargain price of only £10 per person!
Their estate is just outside Salway Ash and nestles amongst the finest Dorset countryside you can imagine. We entered a wonderful converted farm building and was welcomed by Nick Beecheno, tours & cellar door manager. There was only one other couple on this tour and once Nick had given us a history on the estate, we headed down to see the vines.
The vines had been carefully prepared for the coming season and Nick explained the back breaking work that is involved in caring for over 22,000 vines over the year. We fired lots of questions to Nick and even one that he had never heard before – “was there such a thing as a native English vine”?
The vines that Furleigh Estate grow are European vines from France & Germany grafted onto American root stock, growing in an English vineyard in Dorset!!
Leaving the vines we walked into a large barn that conceals all the magical stuff to produce wine, huge silver containers interspersed with oak barrels. Nick talked through the whole process, especially the special equipment required to make sparkling wines.
After this we headed back to the cellar to taste their wines. We tried the full range of their still wines, starting with their only red Tyrannosaurus Red, which was a very light a fruity wine that can be chilled and perfect for summer BBQ’s.
Then onto Bacchus Dry white wine, one taste of this and we all said WOW, it was a refreshing taste of hedgerows and elderflower, perfect with cheese and fish.
The Dorset Flint (Chardonnay grapes) was a lot more smooth and one to be enjoyed after a long summer day watching the sun slowly setting.
The Sea Pink Rose, had great depth of flavour and another wine perfect for summer BBQ’s with friends or family.
The last wine we tried was one of their award winning sparkling wines, the Rose 2010. Nick poured these into dainty Furleigh engraved flutes and we all agreed this is a very special sparkly wine. Perfect for those special occasions where bubbles are required and at only £22.50 a bottle it is very affordable.
The tour is a brilliant introduction to wine making in Dorset and they can accommodate much larger groups, they have even had hen parties in full fancy dress!!!
Rebecca also told us of their new limited membership Wine Club for 2015. The club aims to provide an insight into what is happening at Furleigh Estate. Members will have an early opportunity to buy each new release at discounted prices and will receive invitations to wine and food events being held at the vineyard. The Wine Club Membership Year runs from 1st May to 30th April. For more information please contact Rebecca on 01308 488991 or Rebecca@furleighestate.co.uk
Book a tour now and see how these multi award winning wines are made, best of all you get to taste them as well….!
t: 01308 488991
|Invited by PR company?||Yes|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|