Not much beats sitting on a terrace overlooking vineyards and sipping a glass of award-winning sparkling wine. Wine that’s been lovingly produced from local grapes grown in a family-owned vineyard surrounded by silence and stunning countryside views.
But if this feels like a French summer holiday, it isn’t. This is the Tinwood Estate just outside Chichester and at the foot of the South Downs in West Sussex.
And now, with the launch of Tinwood’s new Vineyard Kitchen, you can add a few perfectly paired tapas-style dishes also made from local Sussex produce as you quite literally savour the moment.
A very special corner of Sussex
Tinwood’s owner Art Tukker took over running the family farm in 2006 and decided to follow his dream of making fine sparkling wine.
The first vines were planted in 2007 but these days, Tinwood has 110 acres under vine and can produce between 300 and 400 tonnes of grapes each year. They grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
In 2012, Tinwood opened their tasting room and hosted their first vineyard tour. Then they added three luxury lodges overlooking the vines. Now they offer a number of vineyard experiences and have a range of internationally recognised wines which include a Blanc de Blanc, a Blanc de Noir, a Rosé and a Brut.
The Tinwood tasting rooms are super stylish and in the summer months, the glass wall opens up onto a spacious decked terrace just feet away from the vines. It feels sublime.
The Vineyard Kitchen
At the launch of the new restaurant experience, Art explained the Vineyard Kitchen concept of a modern British tapas-style venue was inspired by a trip to South Africa some years ago.
He talked about his passion for using high-quality, fresh, local ingredients and the importance to him of working with local producers. And the team here appears genuinely invested in the environment whether that takes the form of taking care of the soil or working with the local community.
As the sun set on the launch, and a saxophonist floated notes that settled the mood into a mellow rhythm, guests sampled mini dishes from the new kitchen.
The menu is designed to reflect both the seasons and complement the wine, and you’re invited to select three to five dishes per person to share. They’ve all been carefully paired to the wines.
Everything is made fresh in the kitchen and you can expect such delights as Arancini saffron rice balls filled with smoked mozzarella cheese, hot smoked butternut squash, bresaola, salt-roasted beetroots as well as breads and dips (like smoked aubergine caviar and tzatziki), local cheeses and a choice of puds like tiramisu or pannacotta.
The Vineyard Kitchen is open seven days a week and you can combine a visit with a vineyard tour. You can find out more, view the changing menu and book here: Tinwood Estate Vineyard
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