Over the past five years, I have always opted for travel overseas, choosing long haul destinations and overnight flights to far flung places before considering a holiday in the UK. The last year has been an eye opener to all the unique places on our doorstep, so this summer we’re pursuing local adventures and experiences closer to home.
I recently read about one of the UK’s most Northerly Vineyards and was intrigued. The North is not a part of the UK traditionally recognised for bearing fruitful wine. In June, as part of a Yorkshire road trip we visited Dunesford Vineyard to experience it ourselves.
Nestled in the Vale of York, Dunesford is charming to say the least and has a story with heart. Family run, it is a four-acre, boutique vineyard and everyone has a part to play. Inspired by brother James and the desire to foster a community, the family looked for destinations across the UK before settling closer to home at the current site in Yorkshire.
Just a few years old, the vineyard makes unique and characterful English wine. One of the most northerly vineyards in the UK, the location serves its challenges but the result is complex fruit and subsequently more interesting wine. The land is now home to four grape varieties, all carefully selected because of their suitability to the northern location – Bacchus, Solaris, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Précoce.
The debut still white wines were released in 2019, followed by sparkling wines in 2020 from the 2018 harvest. The sparkling wine includes the Dunesforde interpretation of the Classic Cuvée aptly named ‘Queen of the North’.
The vineyard is open for tours which can be booked online. You’ll be walked through the grounds, before settling down with Peter to taste the wines – two options with one including sparkling.
I’m always drawn to unique stories. Dunesford has been born out of following a less conventional path, it’s full of life with family at the heart. If you’re looking for a summer adventure, I would recommend booking.