The Kent Downs is fast becoming well-known for producing quality wines with a number of vineyards opening in recent years.
It is the combination of lime-rich chalky soils (the same soils found in the Champagne region!) and the climate that make the Kent Downs landscape particularly conducive to wine production.
Elham Valley Vineyard was first cultivated and planted in 1985 and in 2011 was replanted with three different grapes, Pinot Noir, Seyval and Bacchus. Today you can visit the Elham Valley vineyard garden centre and café run by the Fifth Trust Charity which was set up to enable adults with learning difficulties to experience meaningful employment and work in the community.
Simpsons Vineyard situated close by in the Elham Valley has been producing wine since 2014. Simpsons cultivate three types of grape, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Simpsons vineyard offer a variety of wine experiences offering a taste of Simpsons’ Wine Estate flagship sparkling wine, the Chalklands Classic Cuvée, traditionally created according to the méthode traditionnelle.
Terlingham Vineyard is a family-run winery on the North Downs above Folkestone. This sustainable vineyard is artificial pesticide, fertiliser and herbicide-free, instead encouraging the natural wild grasses and flowers that grow amongst the vines, and celebrating the bees, butterflies and spiders that accompany them. Terlingham offer wine tasting experiences, and have a luxurious self-catering cottage on site as well.