Pop-up suppers and wine tasting at Suffolk vineyard
- Credit: Charlotte Davitt-Mills
As we approach the final days of September, autumn has officially set in.
The air is crisp, and the days are getting cosier - making it the perfect time of year to venture out into the countryside one weekend.
And one local vineyard is hosting a number of events that are perfect for you to while away a few hours over the upcoming months.
Tucked away in a corner on the Suffolk coast is Shotley Vineyard – an exciting, up-and-coming wine producer run by Charlotte Davitt-Mills and her husband.
Established in 2017, the two purchased four acres of vineyard after falling in love with the local area – and four years on have expanded and now manage 16 acres of planted English vines.
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They launched their first vintage in June 2020, and have since won a number of awards for their wines – including a silver and bronze medal in the Independent English Wine Awards for their Pinot Noir and Bacchus varieties. Their Bacchus also took home a bronze at the Wine GB East Awards.
And for anyone who wants to learn more about the fascinating process behind what makes an award-winning wine, visitors can now head to the vineyard for a day out amongst the vines on one of its tour and tasting events.
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Led by the vineyard’s professional WSET trained guide, you'll be guided through the vines as you take in some of Suffolk's finest countryside views and learn all you need to know about wine growing and production.
The tour will then be followed up with a tutored tasting, which includes the Bacchus and Pinot Noir. There is also the option to add a grazing box or afternoon tea to your tour slot.
“Since reopening, we’ve had quite a lot of visitors and the tours have been popular,” explains Charlotte.
“We also now do locally-roasted coffee and cake on-site, supplied by someone over in Holbrook – and his wife makes the cakes.”
Upcoming tour and tasting dates include Saturday October 23, Sunday 24 and Saturday 30.
For any foodies out there, the vineyard has also teamed up with a local chef for a series of events called Forage Walk with a Folk.
Visitors can venture around the vineyard, learning how to identify a series of edible plants before enjoying a seashore-inspired three course lunch accompanied by some Shotley wine.
“Foraging changes throughout the year, but lately there’s been samphire, pineapple weed, hogweed, elderberries, and blackberries around the vineyard,” adds Charlotte.
Coming up on the vineyard this October is a sparkling cocktail night. On Saturday October 23, visitors can enjoy three cocktails and nibbles in the idyllic vineyards for just £25 per person.
“We’re also running a number of supper clubs here at the vineyard too."
On Friday October 29 and Friday November 26, local award-winning Suffolk chef Jessica Noy will be collaborating with Shotley Vineyard to host a seasonal surprise menu. With an emphasis on wild food, attendees can tuck into four delicious courses, each paired with an appropriate wine.
To find out more, visit shotleyvineyard.co.uk