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“It’s a glorious time in the vineyard as we move into spring. The grapes are harvested, wines safely settling.
The sun is low and bright through the vines which still fly the occasional, defiant red and gold leaf. Ice glitters from ground
or eaves and everything is in its place. Soon enough we’ll be pruning and bottling but for a few short weeks before spring,
both vineyard and inhabitants have some breathing space.”

Aaron Rice, Trade Sales Manager, Woodchester Valley Vineyard

From humble beginnings as a one-acre vineyard in 2007, Woodchester Valley Vineyard now stretches across 56 acres where vine and trellis meet hill and dale.

Its founder, Fiona Shiner envisioned one of the best boutique vineyards in the UK, which 15 years on is home to a winery, tasting room and some of the most stylish vineyard accommodation in the country. Together with her daughter, Chloe and a team of experts, Woodchester Valley produces still white, rosé and sparkling wines, awards for which consistently fill the trophy cabinet each year.

Grapes have most likely been grown around Woodchester since day dot. Two vineyards were recorded nearby in the 1086 Domesday Book; and with one of the finest roman palaces located down the road (the Orpheus Roman pavement), we can only imagine the wine-soaked soirees that took place here a couple of millennia ago.

Woodchester Valley must be one of the prettiest, if not hilliest vineyards in the country, driving up to the tasting room and winery is an adventure in its own, but the views, the friendly welcome, and the wines (made from grapes that love the steep Cotswold limestone slopes) make it more than worth the journey.

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The Wine

Jeremy Mount has been at the helm of the winery since 2016. Originally from a farming family in Kent, Jeremy graduated from the esteemed Plumpton College, emerging as an expert in Viticulture and Oenology before gaining experience at vineyards across the world. Settling at Woodchester Valley, Jeremy is always up for the challenge that the UK’s bipolar climate throws at winemakers, with creativity and innovation at the heart of everything he does.

As a vineyard, Woodchester is unique, encompassing a few different sites it benefits from various soil types and aspects allowing Jeremy to create a diversity of wines. There are no less than 11 grape varieties grown, with a special nod to those fast becoming recognised as ‘typically English’ (ie, they like our climate and soil), including Bacchus, Ortega, Seyval Blanc, Siegerrebe and Regent.

These wonderfully fruity characters are the supporting cast to more widely known personalities such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and from this group Woodchester’s still and sparkling wines are uniquely innovative, exciting and oh-so delicious.

Used to scooping gongs at national and international awards, the recent 2021 WineGB Awards saw Woodchester Valley win four silvers and two bronzes.

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Wining & Dining

There isn’t a formal restaurant here, but what you will find is a modern, comfortable, light-filled tasting room where wines and nibbles await.

Throughout the year there are regular tours and events at the vineyard, for two legged and four legged friends. The team are keen champions of local producers on their doorstep, from making the most of fresh, seasonal produce to complement their afternoon tea and sparkling wine tastings after a vineyard tour, to their popular Friday fizz & chips (we know how great English sparkling tastes when matched with good old fish and chips!) Best to check the Woodchester Valley website for upcoming dates, all tours and events must be pre-booked.

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Wake up and smell the vines

The Cotswolds has to be one of the most magical places in the UK. Quintessentially English countryside, this is the home of rolling hills, medieval villages and stately homes sun-kissed in golden stone.

Waking up surrounded by vineyards is always a treat, made even more special from the comfort of the beautifully designed guest rooms and houses at Woodchester Valley.

Guests can choose from three types of accommodation, there’s the Luxury Vineyard split level rooms (ideal for a couple, these have a living room and small kitchenette, with a large bedroom upstairs, a well-equipped bathroom and views across the vines and valley). For slightly larger groups and guests travelling with dogs, there’s accommodation for up to four guests at the Retreat, a traditional stone farmhouse. And if you’re looking for a vineyard home to enjoy for a few days or more, there’s Woodchester Valley House, a beautifully designed, modern (and exceptionally large) Cotswold house which can sleep up to 12 guests (including dogs).

What each space has in common is style and comfort, with log burners, underfloor heating and special surprises like fluffy dressing gowns and complimentary milk, orange and yoghurt in the fridge, alongside outdoor terraces and well, we’ve already mentioned the views. And to accompany an aperitif, guests can order a hamper of Cotswold cheeses and charcuterie, perfect for a light lunch or to enjoy by your fireplace.

Best of all, the Retreat and Woodchester Valley House have large state of the art kitchens, designed for entertaining (cooking nirvana for a budding chef).

There’s of course plenty of wine in the fridges to purchase and the Continental breakfast is highly recommended (locally produced, low mileage super fresh bread and pastries, what more do you need?)

The welcoming team from Woodchester Valley are happy to help with special occasions and surprises, whether that be flowers, a perfectly timed cake or a sparkling wine chilled and waiting for your arrival.

This is a peaceful sanctuary where a tranquil life amongst the vines permeates and resides in you long after you’ve departed.

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Out and about

Learning about English wines at a vineyard glass in hand is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable days out, in our humble opinion!

In addition to the regular events, guided tours and tastings offered throughout the year at Woodchester Valley, guests are spoilt for choice in the Cotswolds. There’s charming villages, historical homes and weekend farmers markets; and being close to various National Trust estates, there are great walks to discover too. We’ve heard there’s a footpath from the vineyard that leads to a hidden valley which magically opens up to reveal three lakes, a boathouse and an unfinished Victorian mansion, all within the stunning National Trust property of Woodchester Park. For more ancient wanderings, the 700-acre Newark Park in Wotton-under-Edge is home to a Grade I listed Tudor country house, with plenty to explore.

Nearby Stroud is home to a vibrant art scene. The internationally renowned Pangolin foundry can be found at Chalford, whilst foodies are spoilt for choice here. A short walk across the fields brings you to a friendly local pub, The Bell Inn at Selsey, whilst the nearby town of Nailsworth is home to Williams Foodhall seafood restaurant and deli and the three AA Rosette restaurant, Wilder. Pubs like The Britannia and Egypt Mill come highly recommended too. For those looking to impress, there’s Calcot Manor (which has a fabulous spa too), and Whatley Manor with its two Michelin starred restaurant, The Dining Room.

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Location
Perfectly situated in South Cotswolds, the vineyard is well positioned to explore the area. Stroud is the nearest station (approximately two hours from London), and taxis are available at the station for those not driving.

The Bottom Line
Luxury Vineyard guest rooms (for two) start at £130 per night in low season. A generous Continental breakfast can be pre-ordered at £25.
The Retreat Farmhouse (for up to four guests) starts at £150 per night in low season.
The Woodchester Valley House (for up to 12 guests) starts at £500 per night in low season.

Opening times
The vineyard has a separate Cellar door in Stroud, which is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays (10am to 6pm)

Inchbrook Trading Estate
Bath Road
Woodchester
Stroud GL5 5EY

 

Woodchester Valley Vineyard accommodation is open all year round:

Convent Lane
Woodchester
Stroud GL5 5HR

woodchestervalleyvineyard.co.uk

*Experiences, packages, prices and dining venues are subject to change, advanced reservations are required for tours, events and accommodation.