VISIT TO TERLINGHAM VINEYARD By Mr Andrew Bowles, Upper Warden

In the middle of July, the Master and several members of the Company together with guests enjoyed a fabulous day in the very South East of the Garden of England thanks to the hospitality of Liveryman Graham Wilks and his family.

The venue for the day was Terlingham Vineyard, situated in the rolling countryside just behind the Channel Tunnel Terminus, which mercifully is well hidden from view!  Kent and Sussex are fast gaining a reputation for producing fine English sparkling wines and this was an opportunity to see how one producer is faring.

Our group was escorted around the grounds to see the vines in their full splendour and introduced to Graham’s wife Lorna and family and the winemaker Kobus Louw.  Kobus explained the ‘natural’ wine making method that he is advocating and has been adopted by Graham whilst the last moments of a rain shower anointed the party, following which we sat down to enjoy a wine tasting as the sun emerged. We tasted sparkling wines, still whites and a surprisingly drinkable red wine accompanied by detailed descriptions of the provenance of each.  Following this our hosts directed us to a splendidly prepared marquee set out immediately adjacent to the vines and we were invited to select our preferred potion from the tasting to accompany a delicious lunch of local produce.

With the sun shining, views of the English Channel, and a veritable feast in the midst of good company, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the visit and we are most grateful to Graham and his family for arranging it.

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