Wine tasting in the garden of England: Taking the Estate Tour at Gusbourne

What's so special about Gusbourne?

Despite only being in the wine game since the turn of the millennium (their first release was in 2006), this English vineyard has forged quite the reputation for its wines. They're currently the only three-time winner of the International Wine & Spirits Challenge English Wine Producer of the Year. Their Blanc de Blancs 2016 won Platinum at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards. So it's fair to say they're a pretty big deal in the English wine world. You will almost certainly have seen their wines on lists at some of the best restaurants in London, including Core by Clare Smyth, Restaurant Story and The Ritz.

Where is it?

You'll find the main part of the vineyard in Appledore Kent (named because it used to be an orchard back in the 1400s rather than a vineyard). Gusbourne occupies a really beautiful stretch of this part of Kent, with vines running down the hillside and the south coast on the horizon.

The story behind it is that South African orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Weeber spotted the land's similarity to his home in Stellanbosh when he was here visiting his daughter. He decided to buy some land and create a vineyard to see if he was right about its suitability for grape growing (it was a good decision). 

How do I get there?

It's a super easy trip from London. Take the fast train from St Pancras and you're in Ashford in under 40 minutes. From there, it's about a ten-minute taxi ride to Gusbourne.

What kind of tours do they offer?

We've been to quite a few English vineyards but we were properly impressed by the set-up at Gusbourne. They've made the most of their gorgeous setting to create a whole variety of places to enjoy their wines on-site, from tasting tables under great oaks to more formal (and weatherproofed) tasting rooms.

There are three tours on offer - a Vineyard Tour, Discovery Tour and Estate Tour. All include a guided tour of the vineyard, with the more expensive options including tastings and lunch. We were signed up to the top of the range Estate Tour. Here's how that went.

Summing up:

Whether you're happy enough to do a self-guided tour when you visit an English vineyard, or would like the full shebang with an expert tasting and locavore lunch, there's something at Gusbourne for everyone. It really is an easy (and lovely) day out for Londoners with it being less than an hour from the city to the cellar door. And that's all before we even get to the wines themselves, which are excellent. Highly recommended.

More about the Gusbourne Estate Tour

Where is it? Kenardington Rd, Appledore, Ashford TN26 2BE

How much? £95 per person

How to book : Book online .

Find out more : Visit their website or follow them on Instagram  @gusbourne_wine

Hot Dinners visited as guests of Gusbourne. Prices correct at time of publication.  

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The Nest at Gusbourne: wine tasting and tours in the garden of England

The Nest at Gusbourne: wine tasting and tours in the garden of England

English wine’s burgeoning reputation means it has never been easier to celebrate the best of British. With that in mind, we headed to Kent to visit Gusbourne and spend a day at The Nest, exploring its vineyards, meeting its wine-makers and tasting its award-winning vintage wines.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

As a nation of wine-lovers, we’ve traditionally stocked up on bottles from the likes of France, Spain, Italy and Chile, but understood much less about those made closer to home. That’s fast-changing, though – now home to over 900 vineyards, English wine’s profile has rocketed, racking up plaudits from around the world. Though it’s still a relative newcomer to the field (around ten million English wine bottles were sold in 2022, compared to 326 million of Champagne alone), it’s fair to say English wine is flourishing.

Kent has been particularly fruitful, with its warm, dry climate earning it a new nickname as the wine garden of England. The county is home to Gusbourne, which has been in business just shy of twenty years but has already forged a stellar reputation for its vintage sparkling wines, collecting a clutch of awards (it’s the only three-time winner of the International Wine and Spirits Competition English Wine Producer of the Year) and becoming a top pick among Michelin-starred chefs. Given the long, slow process of wine-making, it’s an impressive track record. Today, we’re visiting its food and wine experience The Nest for an Estate Tour, an idyllic day made up of a tour of the vineyard, a wine tasting and a three-course meal. Just under forty minutes from London by train, or a quick taxi ride from Ashford International, we’re there in no time, greeted with a generous glass of its Brut Reserve 2019. A mix of its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, it has a citrus and orchard fruit-heavy palate and hints of orange, pear and stone fruits and, we’re told, is brilliant with breakfast. It’s a beautiful wine – and if you don’t believe us, then perhaps you’ll trust the royals; it was chosen by King Charles as the coronation sparkling wine.

With our glasses in hand, our tour guide begins to lead us through the vines, which, when we visit in April, are in budburst, emerging from their winter dormancy. From June, the 250,000 vines will spring into a sea of lush greenery. As we explore, it’s explained to us how the terroir is perfectly suited to vine-growing, a tricky process which needs patience and precision in abundance. Gusbourne is in one of the driest parts of the country, and the vines slope down towards the coast (it’s a clear day and we can see Camber Sands wind turbines on the horizon six miles away), providing a vital steady breeze. The Kent vineyards have sandy and clay soils, while those in Sussex, Gusbourne’s second site, are chalky and flint. It’s a level of detail most of us are oblivious to, but to wine-makers it’s essential. The team grows thirty-seven clones of Gusbourne’s three main grapes and, over time, they have fine-tuned where each thrives, when within the season they should be harvested and how they enhance one another, impressively balancing science and art.

We pass picnic benches backed by forest, surrounded by wildflowers and overlooking the vines – it’s easy to understand the popularity of their summer picnics – before reaching a table set rather romantically in the middle of the greenery. There, we sample the 2022 Rosé, full of strawberry and citrus notes. Though many of Gusbourne’s wines are cork-aged, this isn’t – instead, it’s made for the moment, we’re told. It’s one example of Gusbourne’s ethos that its wines are for life’s everyday celebrations – rather than holding on to bottles of sparkling wine for Christmas or a wedding anniversary, as we might tend to, the team believes they are perfect for life’s day-to-day occasions.

Armed with knowledge and ready for lunch, we head back to The Nest, stopping briefly to explore the winery and barrel room on our way. Though there are 900 vineyards around the UK, there are far fewer wineries (around 200), and being able to go from vine to bottle in one place remains special. Back in our private tasting room, we begin by trying the Blancs de Blancs 2018, which we’re told is the truest expression of Gusbourne’s terroir. It has Chardonnay aromas of green apple and citrus, and a distinctly seaside feel – it pairs beautifully with fish and chips by the sea and freshly-shucked oysters . Next is the 2018 Blanc de Noirs (thanks to its warm summer, 2018 was a bumper year for English wine), billed as a sparkling wine for red wine lovers. It delivers; its depth and richness showing the range to be found in sparkling wine. Though Gusbourne might be known for its fizz, 5% of its bottles are still, including Guinevere 2020, a Chardonnay with aromas of lemon, green apple and toasted nuts, which we enjoy with our main course.

The attention to detail certainly isn’t limited to the wine – though Gusbourne has its own in-house chefs, it also works with world-class names for its private chef dinner experiences (Ynyshir’s Gareth Ward among them). Our meal starts with delicate beetroot-cured salmon , with egg yolk, pickled beetroot dill emulsion and seaweed crisp, before a main course of wild garlic-stuffed chicken , confit chicken bon bon, pomme purée, Gusbourne cream sauce and pancetta crisp. It’s all excellent, and it’s clear generosity is the order of the day – from the plentiful wine pours to the ample plates, there’s hardly room for our dessert, a layered rhubarb and custard treat, with pistachio and milk crisp, paired with a refreshingly light and fruity dessert wine RS180.

During our visit, we’re told the tours often turn casual visitors into loyal customers, and, as we begin our journeys home, it’s easy to see why. Getting to know Gusbourne’s ethos, understanding the meticulous attention to detail required for English wine-making and tasting the final product means we inevitably leave invested. Their generosity of spirit shines through and, at the simplest level, it’s a really beautiful place to while away the day. Whether it’s a summer picnic in the vines, a romantic lunch for two or a private chef experience, it’s a fantastic setting to mark special occasions and, more importantly, life’s everyday celebrations.

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What a brilliant wine tour, tasting and... - Gusbourne

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What a brilliant wine tour, tasting and experience!

I was fortunate enough to be given a lovely present for my 40th at Gusbourne vineyard in Appledore. I live local and have watch the estates development with excitement. The tour was amazing and the host Ben was very knowledgeable and very relaxed. I went with a friend and we were given a private tour by the vineyard as a treat as it was my birthday. It was very much appreciated. The best is brilliant and very professional. We were at ease all the time and we were able to talk about the wine and sparkling wine we tasted with no pretense or worry. We were made to feel so welcome and we learned so much about the process and the company. This is an absolute must thing to do if you are near appledore, Tenterden. What I will say is that I was so impressed with my afternoon at Gusbourne and the very personal way we were treated. It was a pleasure. I have not yet mentioned the product we were lucky enough to taste. The sparking wine being created at Gusbourne is a joy to taste and very special. Trust me you will absolutely love it! All I can say is a huge thank you to all the team at Gusbourne and in particular Ben who gave us his absolute time and knowledge. It was fascinating to learn about the industry and what Gusbourne are doing. I promise you will not be disappointed and I encourage tourists and locals alike to enjoy the experience like I did.

gusbourne estate tour review

Thank you for your kind words, we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your birthday tour at Gusbourne. It was a pleasure to host you both and show you our estate and winery, we very much look forward to welcoming you and your family again soon. Kind Regards, Dan

This upmarket winery is a revelation. Stunning sparkling wines that put many champagnes in the shade. The Nest is a bar that also does tastings and Gusbourne also offer a great tour around their vineyards and winemaking facilities. Well worth the trip and not far from Ashford International ( 35 mins from St Pancras).

We're so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the review. Hope to see you again soon!

If you haven't discovered Gusbourne then you are in for a treat. the wine is really very good. the nest is a really great way to experience wine and wine making in Kent. they can provide trips around the vineyard and wine tastings. Definitely worth a visit

Our pre-booked tour and tasting was brilliant. Sophie & Cheryl are excellent, knowledgeable & enthusiastic guides and hosts. It was great that the weather was nice enough for us to walk through the vineyard to the viewing deck under the old Oaks, and enjoy our first tasting there. There is an excellent exhibition to look round. The wines were delicious, and everything is of a high quality. We look forward to seeing how this place develops, having only recently opened for tours.

We were lucky enough to get a slot for the wine tour and tasting here as part of a hen do. Nearly refurbished and only being open for tours a few weeks, this place is an absolute gem. The staff are very friendly and have really in depth knowledge of both the estate and their beautiful wines. We all had a lovely time, thank you!

gusbourne estate tour review

We're so delighted you had such a good time - we loved having you, and thank you for your enthusiasm! All the best, Sophie and Cheryl

I visited Gusbourne estate last week with a friend. We thoroughly enjoyed it! The tour was relaxing, informative and fun. The guide was so friendly. The wine tasting was great and I am so impressed with the quality of wine that they produce. I'm trying my best to save the bottle I bought for a special occasion (the Brut Reserve) :).. I would definitely recommend! Thanks for an enjoyable afternoon K x

It was our pleasure to host you, and we're so glad you enjoyed the wines. Do pop back and visit us again - perhaps when we are launching the next vintage of the Brut Reserve! All the best, Sophie and Cheryl

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The estate-grown sparklings of Gusbourne

Anthony Rose

The Gusbourne estate vineyards. Anthony Rose

Gusbourne estate goes back to 1410 when John de Goosebourne, a nobleman, is mentioned as owning 143 acres here.

For long an agricultural arable, fruit and vegetable farm, Gusbourne was purchased in 2004 by South African orthopaedic surgeon, Andrew Weeber, who, while visiting family in the area, spotted the potential for great wine in this location, and set up with 20 hectares of vines. Today, bottles of Gusbourne carry a goose crest in homage to the Goosebourne family crest of three geese, which can be found in the local parish church in Appledore.

Six miles from the sea, Gusbourne Estate sits on a south-facing slope off the Romney Marsh, an ancient pilgrimage route and escarpment whose rain shadow and low altitude (0 to 45 metres above sea level) helps bring warmth and protection, and, crucially, ripeness.

Relying entirely on its own estate-grown fruit, roughly 93 hectares are planted to two-thirds on Wealden clay and Tunbridge Wells sands in Kent, and a third on chalk and flint soils in Sussex. About half is chardonnay, 40% pinot noir and 10% meunier.

In total, there are now 15 different vineyards. Since the original plantings, more Burgundian clones have been planted. Some vineyards might have up to 40 different clones and as the estate got bigger, it has become possible to work out which were the best clones for which sites.

Gusbourne soon found that the Burgundy clones, which were generally lower-yielding, with a level of ripeness not always found anywhere else, worked well from a winemaking perspective. At the same time, they found that on the chalk soils, many of the Champagne clones work best, and pinot noir has an exceptional fruit purity.

“There’s a temptation to chase the chalk in England, but sometimes that misses the point,” says Charlie Holland, winemaker with Gusbourne since 2013. “It’s one part of the puzzle, but arguably not the most important factor.”

After 15 years, Gusbourne feels it has a proven track record of being able to ripen the crop.

“We like the clay here. Chalk often starts better in Sussex with its free-draining soils, but then in mid-season, the clay soils can overtake the chalk, and retain that heat and race away. We’re usually one of first out blocks in picking. Acidity is key, our calling card, it’s what makes us different and special and essential for freshness and vitality.”

Sensitive to the potential dangers of downy and powdery mildew and botrytis, Gusbourne doesn’t aspire to be organic, but they are working hard on their green credentials with less spraying less and almost no herbicides. “We try to be as responsible as we can”.

They also practise crop thinning with a lot of green harvesting for “responsible” crop levels, aiming to harvest in time, ideally mid-September, to get some energy back into the roots before the vines shut down for the year. With frost a potential risk, even though the site is a relatively frost-free site, they invest heavily in frost protection, with frost fans for cold air evacuation.

“We’re seeing the direct effects of climate change here in that we can ripen the grapes to a level we never used to be able to. In fact, even 10 years ago, we didn’t think we could get that level of ripeness. We tend to get unpredictable weather patterns. It’s quite a wet country but last year we had a drought.”

gusbourne estate tour review

The Gusbourne sparklings. Anthony Rose

In recent years, while the Blanc de Blanc is Gusbourne’s signature wine, the Brut Reserve and Rosé have been more pinot-driven and a first Blanc de Noirs (and a zero dosage, Natural Brut ) have been made.

Gusbourne obtains over 200 different components from 40 vineyard blocks. 90% is fermented in stainless steel and the remaining 10% in three-quarters older oak and a quarter new oak casks.

All the wines are vintage, with 5% to 7% reserve wine if need be to add complexity, so in a cool year they might use 5% reserve wine. All Gusbourne’s sparkling wines go through full malolactic fermentation and the wines spend about three years on lees although they are now aiming to extend that to four years for the blanc de blancs.

Gusbourne’s tasting room is open to visitors all year round and there’s no need to make a reservation, although it is advisable in peak season if you wish to enjoy one of the specific tour experiences which often sell out. You can buy by the glass, bottle or case and enjoy a variety of vineyard tours, taking in scenic vineyards, winery, and tasting room with a tutored tasting.

Gusbourne is one of a member of the Wine Garden of England group, so, in the unlikely event that you have any spare time, check out the website .

Address: Kenardington Road, Appledore, Kent TN26 2BE

Telephone: +44 (0)1233 758666

Website: www.gusbourne.com

gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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gusbourne estate tour review

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British summertime at the Gusbourne Estate

By Sponsored Content

Gusbourne

Those views. Vines hugging gentle slopes. Wildflowers dancing in the breeze. The soft undulations of Romney Marsh. The saline-tinged sea air. And, this year, the canopy of plum and apple trees planted in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This could only be the Gusbourne Estate in southeast England.

Since the first vines were planted here in 2004, the winemaking team at Gusbourne has employed meticulous attention to detail and a spirit of innovation with the fruits of the estate’s unique terroir to produce sparkling wines that have consistently wowed the industry.

And alongside the highly crafted vintages in their hand-polished bottles is a warm spirit of relaxed hospitality.

Since opening its doors in 2017, The Nest—Gusbourne’s cellar door and tasting room—has hosted thousands of wine lovers exploring the estate as part of a vineyard tour.

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And this summer, international visitors and UK staycationers can look forward to a seasonal programme of hosted tours, special picnics, new releases and new menus throughout the season. Take your pick…

Take a tour

Informal yet highly informative, Gusbourne’s three categories of vineyard tour take visitors on a gentle walk and talk through the vines. Tutored tastings by highly knowledgeable, ego-free experts introduce guests to the core range of sparkling wines—Brut Reserve, Rosé and Blanc de Blancs—as they explain why Gusbourne only uses its grapes from its own vineyards and only releases vintages that they deem to be ready.

Gusbourne Estate

With or without lunch, and sometimes with a taste of a rare or library vintage, all hosted tours include the opportunity to soak up some English sparkling intelligence via the English wine timeline at The Nest—full of fascinating, artfully exhibited facts and artefacts.

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  • The Vineyard Tour (£25pp) decants a walk amongst the vines and a tutored tasting into a two-hour experience.
  • The Discovery Tour (£75pp) adds in some special bottles and a lunch of seasonal sharing platters, prepared on site by The Nest Kitchen. Around 4 hours.
  • The Estate Tour (£95pp) relaxes guests into a three-course lunch over some exclusive rare-release and limited-edition wines.

Unpack a picnic

Fresh air, fresh food, vintage wine, English countryside… This summer Gusbourne has refreshed its picnic offering with the best of Kent and Sussex produce and the latest release of its best-selling Brut Reserve.

An ideal pour for a wicker basket packed with artisan cheese and charcuterie, vine tomato salads, homemade bread and super-sweet Kentish strawberries. Make your way to the estate’s new picnic space, accessed via the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy, where a Bedouin-style open canopy awaits just in case one of Kent’s famous sunny days decides not to show up.

Hand-crafted wooden tables—spaced for privacy—await. An idyllic way to spend a day in the Garden of England.

Celebrate English Wine Week

To let English Wine Week 2022 ( June 18 to 26) pass by without a visit to an English vineyard is an opportunity missed. Throughout the week, Gusbourne will be marking this year’s EWW with two special dining events and one new still-wine release.

Gusbourne Estate

  • Chardonnay Guinevere 2020 will be making its debut appearance at a special tutored tasting lunch with premium smoked fish producer Alfred Enderby (Sunday June 19) . An inspired pairing of two highly crafted products whose origins are all about place, time and commitment to quality.
  • And on Friday June 24 , foodies can raise a toast to English Wine Week as part of a specially created four-course lunch menu from Chef Patron Daniel Smith and the team at the highly acclaimed Fordwich Arms when they set up their kitchen at Gusbourne’s Garden Room overlooking the vines.

Here’s to another vintage summer in the Garden of England.

Book a tour or special event at gusbourne.com/tours

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Gusborne: What’s New at the English Wine Estate?

From vineyard tours and tastings to chef series and wine picnics, there's plenty to shout about at Gusbourne.

By Kim Ayling

gusbourne english sparkling wine being poured

The world of English wine is going from strength to strength, with more varieties of impossibly high-quality bottles hitting the market each year. And helping to establish English wine as a leader on the world stage is Gusbourne, an award-winning estate tucked into the gently rolling hills of the Kent countryside. So, with a bumper year behind it, what’s new at Gusbourne for 2022?

As we gear up into spring, the wine estate has a packed calendar of special events, including a series of exclusive collaborations with some of the country’s leading Michelin-starred restaurants , in which top chefs are invited to Gusbourne’s kitchens to showcase their talents.

Each dining event will kick off with a tour through the vines before guests are invited to sit down for a specially prepared meal in the intimate garden room overlooking the vineyards, accompanied by the finest Gusbourne wines. Confirmed for this year’s guest chef series are Adam Byatt’s Trinity, Tom Seller’s Restaurant Story and Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers, as well as The Fordwich Arms.

[See also: Michelin Reveals Great Britain and Ireland Guide 2022]

gusbourne english win eest

The estate is based in the Kent countryside, just an hour away from London / ©Gusbourne

Joining the guest chef events are a number of experiences hosted by Gusbourne’s very own team of wine experts, including global brand ambassador and master sommelier Laura Rhys, head winemaker Charlie Holland, and winemaker Alastair Benham. Included in the 2022 calendar are wine blending masterclasses, late disgorged wine tasting events and behind the scenes looks at Gusbourne’s sustainable, low-intervention winemaking process.

As well as Gusbourne’s full program of special premium events, wine experts and novices alike are invited to visit throughout the year to enjoy one of its three types of tours. For an entry-level look at Gusbourne’s estate, book the Vineyard Tour, which takes guests on a guided walk through the vines, followed by a tutored wine tasting.

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For a more immersive insight into Gusbourne’s wines and its processes, however, look no further than the Discovery and Estate Tours, which both offer an extended guided trip through the biodiverse vineyards and the neighboring winery, as well as an indulgent lunch of local seasonal delights and the chance to try some of Gusbourne’s more premium wines.

lunch at gusbourne vineyard

The extended tours come with an indulgent lunch of local seasonal delights/ ©Gusbourne

And, when the English summer finally makes her much anticipated appearance, Gusbourne gives visitors a chance to make the most of the sunshine with a picnic overlooking the vineyards. Each picnic hamper is crammed full with specially selected goodies showcasing the best of Kent and Sussex produce, including artisan cheeses, homemade bread and local fruit, as well as a bottle of the golden Gusbourne Brut Reserve, which the estate proudly hails as the backbone of its sparkling wine selection. Team your picnic with a vineyard tour for a perfect day out in the British countryside.

Naturally, there’s plenty of newness on the cards for Gusbourne’s wines themselves, too. Joining the existing rosters of bottles will be four all-new single-vineyard wines, each of which will be made exclusively with grapes from just one of Gusbourne’s four vineyards, in order to showcase the diverse terroirs of the English south coast.

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gusbourne wine tasting

Gusbourne’s very own team of wine experts will be running events throughout the year / ©Gusbourne

To give Elite Traveler readers the opportunity to experience Gusbourne for themselves, we’re offering the chance to enter our prize draw to win an immersive Discovery Tour, which includes tasting and lunch at Gusbourne Wine Estate, and a bottle of its flagship Blanc de Blanc sparkling wine. To enter, simply complete the short survey below.

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Gusbourne Wine Harvest Tour: Fine English Wines from Kent

One of the best English sparkling wine producers, Gusbourne also does some fine rose and white wines. Located in the leafy Kent village of Appledore, this renowned English winery is well worth a visit.

Gusbourne Wine Harvest Tour

The vision of founder Andrew Weeber is to make the finest wines in the world. For that reason, Gusbourne have planted mainly Burgundian clones in their vineyards.

Although these cloned varieties produce lower yields, their fruit is more flavourful and riper. These grapes lend themselves particularly well to fine sparkling wine and white wine.

Coupled with the mild climate in Kent and the Estate’s clay soil, this means that the wines develop flavour in the ground. Manipulation in the cellar is therefore not required.

Gusbourne white wine

Gusbourne Estate

Dating back to 1410, the original Gusbourne estate was the property of John de Goosebourne. At the time, the family crest was composed of three geese.

Today, a goose emblem adorns each Gusbourne wine bottle and glass. In fact, they call it the Goosemark, a symbol of quality.

All the grapes used in Gusbourne wines are grown on their own estates. There are 60 hectares on the Gusbourne Estate in Kent and 30 hectares in West Sussex.

Gusbourne wine estate in Kent

Gusbourne Harvest

This year, the harvest in Gusbourne coincides with English Wine Week which has been rescheduled from May to September. It’s a great time of year to visit the vineyard. You can taste fully ripened grapes on the vine and juice right from the press.

For Gusbourne still wines, the best Chardonnay and Pinot grapes are selected by green harvesting. This means that up to a third of each grape bunch is removed, in order to increase the intensity of the remaining grapes.

All the grapes are hand-picked and then sorted. Only the best quality grapes are selected. 

Gusbourne harvest

Gusbourne Vineyard Tours

There are a variety of vineyard tours on offer, during which you will be able to try a selection of Gusbourne wines. During our Discovery Tour, we tasted grapes on the vine which were significantly sweeter at the top of the slope. Tasting the grapes again at the bottom of the slope, they have more acidity which gives the wines longevity on the palate. 

On our tour, we spotted a frost prevention machine. Still fairly rare in English vineyards, they significantly reduce loss to frost.

  • 2 hour Vineyard Tour – includes a guided walk in the vines, winery tour and tutored tasting in the tasting room.
  • Discovery Tour – after a hosted tour of the vineyards and winery, enjoy a tutored tasting in the Nest, together with seasonal sharing platters. On our visit, we enjoyed a delicious selection of local cheeses and meat by Vine + Country wine and food tours.

Vine + Country Wine and Food Tours

  • Estate Tour – includes welcome drinks, an extended vineyard and estate tour, a three course lunch in the tasting room and limited edition wine tasting.
  • Self-Guided Tour – collect a map and take a self-guided tour of the vineyard, followed by a glass of wine at The Nest. You don’t need to prebook self-guided tours. However, as for all the other tours you will need to check in using the NHS Track and Trace app.
  • Tailor-Made Tours – Gusbourne also host private events and tours.

Gusbourne vineyard tour

The Nest 

The Estate’s cellar door, tour and wine tasting operation is open daily from Monday to Sunday, including Bank Holidays from 10:00 – 17:00. At the moment, lunches are taking place outdoors and the museum section is temporarily closed.

Tel: +44 (0)1233 884680

Email:  [email protected]

Gusbourne wine tasting

Gusbourne Wines

Winemaker Charlie Holland has created some of the most iconic sparkling wines in the world. Gusbourne wines have won many international awards, including Best English Sparkling Wine at the International Wine Challenge in Shanghai.

They are the only three time winner of the IWSC English Wine Producer of the Year. The grape varieties at Gusbourne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 

Once bottled, the wine is hand stacked and allowed to age for a minimum of 28 months.

Gusbourne wines

Blanc de Blancs 2014

The Estate’s flagship wine, Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs, is made from hand selected Chardonnay grapes. It is  aged for a minimum of forty two months on lees and six months on cork and presented in a stylish gift box. This was our favourite of the wines that we tasted. 

A delicate blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, this wine has aromas of wild strawberry, cranberry and cherries. 

Gusbourne Rose 2016

Brut Reserve 2016

Gusbourne’s best selling wine is a subtle combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. With aromas of green apples, lemon, poached pears and nuts, it has an elegant finish.

Blanc de Noirs 2016

Made from the finest Pinot Noir grapes, this wine is aged for a minimum of twenty seven months on lees and six months on cork. It has notes of candied fruits, apple, cherry and raspberries. 

Gusbourne Blanc de Noirs

Gusbourne Stockists

If all this has made you thirsty, you’re probably wondering how to get your hands on some Gusbourne wine. It’s served in some of the best restaurants in the UK and abroad, as well as on board Cunard cruise ships and the Belmond British Pullman train.

You can also stock up at wine merchants such as Berry Bros. & Rudd or Hedonism and luxury department stores like Fortnum & Mason.

Gusbourne Reserved

At Gusbourne, quality takes precedence over quantity. Annual production varies as only the best grapes are used. 

The award-winning wines are in high demand, so it can be tricky to secure them at times. However, there’s a way to ensure an allocation directly from the cellar: Gusbourne Reserved.

This wine membership club gives you access to a range of exclusive benefits including first opportunities to taste new wines. Members also receive two bottles each of Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs, Brut Reserve and Ros é. Delivery is complimentary to U K addresses.

Gusbourne Reserved wine membership club

Getting to Gusbourne

The estate is located a short cab ride away from Ashford International train station. From here there are trains every 15 minutes to St Pancras International train station in London.

Alternatively, you can change at Ashford for trains to Hastings and descend at Appledore. From here, take a pre-booked taxi to Gusbourne as there are none waiting at Appledore.

If you come by car, there’s ample free car parking space. The Gusbourne Estate is located at the junction of Kenardington Road and Snargate Road and is well sign-posted.

Gusbourne estate in Kent, England

Have you ever tried English wine or toured a British winery?

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Estate Tour - Gusbourne

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Estate Tour

We did the estate tour and had a lovely day. We wandered around the vineyard and learnt about the process - was just enough time and info and then we came inside for a delicious 3 course lunch with plenty of wine to taste. A really lovely day, one of the best tasting sessions I've done - couldn't recommend more.

Hi Harriet, Thank you for your review, I'm glad to hear you had a wonderful time on your tour. We hope you'll come back to see us again in the future! Best wishes, Allie

Had a most interesting tour of the vineyard yesterday with a small group. Paul was a knowledgable and entertaining guide. We learned about the history of Gusbourne and the production of their superior English sparkling wine. It was a little wet, but we were provided with sturdy umbrellas. The wine tasting afterwards in the gorgeous nest was fabulous. Paul continued our education and we were encouraged to ask questions. Needless to say, the wine was fantastic & we couldn't leave without a purchase. I will enjoy the luxury of my Gusbourne Blanc de Blanc at Christmas. All in all, a really enjoyable birthday treat. Thanks to all involved!

Thank you for your review. I'm glad that you had a wonderful time despite any inclement weather! Many happy returns for your birthday. Enjoy your Blanc de Blancs this Christmas and we hope to see you at The Nest again in the future. Best wishes, Allie

A beautiful setting for a delicious wine tasting of three wines. Very knowledgeable staff who are charming too. Highly recommend it.

Hi Nikki, Thank you for your review. I'm glad you enjoyed your tasting and hope you visit again in the future! Best wishes, Allie

Plenty of information given by friendly and knowledgeable guides. Lovely stroll up to the tasting and picnic area. Umbrellas supplied during a short shower. Excellent all weather tasting and picnic area. The people who work here are justifiably very proud of what they produce and go out of the way to make the tour interesting without overwhelming you with to many facts and figures. Questions are welcomed and answered. We also went for the picnic option which was fantastic. Very generous and all locally sourced produce. Can't recommend this place enough. We've been to a fair number of vineyards in places as far apart as Canada, France and Greece. This tour was by far the best of all of them.

gusbourne estate tour review

Hi Gary, What a wonderful review, thank you so much! I will pass your very kind words on to our team. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit with us and do hope you'll come and see us again in the future. Best wishes, Allie

We booked a wine tour at Gusbourne a few weeks ago. From start to finish, the staff were truly excellent. Really in depth knowledge of not only the vineyard/ wine but also the local area. The wines we tried were excellent and there were plenty of them! Truly recommend a trip here- just make sure you book a taxi home 😂

Thank you for your lovely review! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit and hope we see you again soon. Best wishes, Allie

What an amazing place! My friends and I recently did a Discovery Tour which includes a tour of the vineyards, wine tasting and a delicious lunch. I was so impressed by the beautiful setting, the absolutely stunning wines and the friendly, very knowledgable staff. Everyone was so welcoming and accommodating and couldn’t have made our visit any better. We walked away at the end of the day with giant smiles and bought quite a bit of wine too… how could you not when it’s so superb?! I would highly recommend a visit to Gusbourne for anyone looking to have a fun, relaxing escape to the countryside paired with yummy food and exceptional wine! We will most definitely be back.

gusbourne estate tour review

Hi there, Thank you for your lovely review. I'm so pleased you had a good time on your visit. We look forward to welcoming you back on your return visit! Best wishes, Allie

gusbourne estate tour review

  • About the Winery

Gusbourne Estate

A journey to create the finest wines in the world.

ABOUT GUSBOURNE

From the moment we planted our first vines in 2004, our vision has been to create the finest vintage wines using grapes exclusively from our own vineyards.

High Quality Wines

We grow the highest quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes across the Gusbourne Estate, with 60 hectares in Appledore, Kent and 30 hectares next to the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex. These predominantly Burgundian clones yield smaller volumes of intensely flavourful fruit, which thrive in our unique microclimates. This exceptional produce is the vital first ingredient in making our award-winning sparkling wines, all crafted using the traditional method.

Our debut vintages – Brut Reserve 2006 and Blanc de Blancs 2006 – were released in 2010 to critical acclaim, earning accolades from the world’s most exacting wine critics. Gusbourne sparkling and still wines continue to win prestigious national and international industry awards every year.

TN26 2BE, Ashford, Kent, England, United Kingdom

Kent South East England

Spoken Languages:

Services / facilities, visiting hours:.

Monday : 10:00 - 17:00 Tuesday : 10:00 - 17:00 Wednesday : 10:00 - 17:00 Thursday : 10:00 - 17:00 Friday : 10:00 - 17:00 Saturday : 10:00 - 17:00 Sunday : 10:00 - 17:00

Wine types:

  • Sparkling Wine

Grape varieties:

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier

Other wineries in South East England

Westwell Wine Estates

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Award-Winning Wines from the Garden of England

Frequently Asked Questions about Gusbourne Estate

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Gusbourne Estate

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Wine Tasting in the Garden of England with Gusbourne   There are some experiences you simply have to make time for.  Just an hour from London, nestled in the Garden of England, you’ll find Gusbourne’s Kent vineyards. There, you can explore the vines with a passionate guide who will take the time to explain exactly how their critically acclaimed wines came to be made in the southeast of England.   Enjoy a delicious lunch that is perfectly paired with Gusbourne’s wines, showcasing local produce from around Kent and Sussex. Afterwards, there is plenty of time for tasting. Relaxed, unhurried and expertly tutored, your experience will be tailored to you, whether you’re starting your wine journey, or well underway.   When it’s time, you’ll leave refreshed and inspired, because a day in their beautiful corner of Kent is time well spent.  

Visit Gusbourne in Appledore, Kent to explore the vineyards and visit The Nest, their luxurious tasting room. Open to visitors all year round, their cellar door stocks a range of limited-edition wines that are available to taste and buy exclusively from The Nest. Join them for one of their guided tours  to discover how they produce their award-winning wines.

If you prefer to explore at your own pace, visit The Nest during opening hours to collect a map and enjoy a self-guided tour of the vineyards, before heading back to enjoy a glass of wine.

Throughout the course of the year, they host many unique events at the Nest, such as dinners prepared by some of the UK’s most talented chefs, lunches and tastings hosted by the winemaking team, and picnics in the vineyard. Join the mailing list to be amongst the first to hear about these one-off events.

They also host tailor-made private events and corporate functions .

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Map & directions, road directions.

You’ll find us by turning off Kenardington Road at the junction with Snargate Road, where the Gusbourne driveway is immediately on the left. We are a 15 minute drive from Ashford and 10 minutes from Rye.

You can park free of charge at the vineyard. It is only a short walk from the parking area to the tasting room. We do not have facilities for coach parking.

Friday, 26th April 2024 - Friday, 26th April 2024

birds eye view of winery with two men walking past rows of barrels.

Friday, 17th May 2024 - Friday, 17th May 2024

three wine bottles and an empty wine glass displayed on white, green and red stands.

Saturday, 15th June 2024 - Saturday, 15th June 2024

Close up photo of a gold Gusbourne Estate logo.

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Gusbourne Estate, Rosé, England, United Kingdom 2019

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Gusbourne Discovery Experience

Book a visit discovery experience.

Your Discovery Experience will begin at 12.30pm as you enjoy a perfectly chilled glass of sparkling while taking in the views across our Boot Hill vineyard. We’ll then sit down for a brief tutored tasting, where your host will guide you through two distinctly different styles of Gusbourne sparkling. After the tasting, you’ll be left to enjoy a leisurely seasonal three-course lunch perfectly paired with a selection of Gusbourne sparkling wines. Combining delicious wine, seasonal food and a relaxed setting, our Discovery Experiences are a wonderful way to share a taste of Gusbourne with friends and family.

We expect to be finished at 3pm.

£85 per person

Further information

You’ll find us by turning off Kenardington Road at the junction with Snargate Road, where the Gusbourne driveway is immediately on the left. We are a 15 minute drive from Ashford – you will approach down Kenardington Road and the turning to Snargate Road will be on your left. If you arrive at a crossroads leading into Appledore, you’ve gone too far.

We are 10 minutes from Rye – you will approach through the village of Appledore, and on leaving the village, you’ll arrive at a crossroads where you’ll take a right towards Kenardington and Ashford. This takes you on to the Kenardington Road and after a minute or two’s driving, the turning to Snargate Road will be on your right. Directions can be found here .

Gusbourne, Kenardington Road, Appledore, Ashford, Kent, TN26 2BE.

Public transport

We are located just a short taxi journey from Ashford International, with trains departing every 15 minutes from St Pancras International and Stratford International. You can also take the Hastings train from Ashford for three stops to Rye station and take a taxi from there. Appledore station is not served by taxis or regular buses.

We would highly recommend booking a taxi for both journeys to/from Gusbourne in advance of your visit, especially if visiting on the weekend. Our recommended taxi providers are:

  • ETM Cars 01233-629551
  • Ashford Taxis 01233-646646
  • Ghurkha Taxi 01233-666771
  • Express Taxis 01233-884333
  • Rye Taxis 07774-633046
  • Compass Taxis 07542-428182

You can park free of charge at the vineyard. It is only a short walk from the parking area to the tasting room. We do not have facilities for coach parking.

Accessibility

If you or one of your party have restricted walking ability, please contact us in advance of your visit, and we’ll make arrangements for you to be as comfortable as possible, such as using our golf buggies to take you around the vineyards. The tasting room has ramp access, and accessible toilets suitable for a person with restricted walking ability and for those that use a wheelchair some of the time. We welcome registered carers and assistance dogs free of charge when they are accompanying visitors with special needs.

Accessibility Guide for Gusbourne

Our hosted vineyard tours last around 2 hours, and our hosted Discovery tours last around 4 hours. Both involve visiting our working winery and feature a guided wine tasting, so are not suitable for children. You are welcome to bring children on a self-guided tour around our estate free of charge, and The Nest serves soft drinks for drivers and under-18s. If you would like any additional advice before bringing children to the estate, please email [email protected] , or telephone 01233 884680.

You are welcome to bring your dogs on a vineyard tour, but please ensure dogs are kept on a lead whilst on Gusbourne land, and please do clean up after them. We’re sorry, but we don’t allow dogs into the tasting room or the winery.

Cancellations

If you have booked a ticket for a tour or wine tasting event and you do not arrive for your scheduled booking, then the tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded, unless at our discretion. Any request for a refund or transfer must be made in writing, directed to  [email protected] . If we cancel your booking in its entirety, you will be entitled to a full refund for the purchase price. Tickets will be exchanged or refunded at the price paid for them, but no further compensation will be paid. To read our full cancellation policy  click here .

We are a short 15 minute taxi ride from Ashford train station and have a selection of cab companies we can recommend booking for your journey. If coming by car, there is free parking available on site. To read more information on getting to Gusbourne, please visit the link below.

See full directions

Allergen information

If you have a food allergy, please make a member of staff aware as soon as possible.

Although every effort is made to provide allergen free dishes, owing to our kitchen layout we cannot guarantee cross contamination of any of the following 14 allergens: cereals, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs, mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide & sulphites, tree nuts. Our dishes are therefore not guaranteed as “free-from”.

For more information or details of menu ingredients please speak to a member of staff.

We are located just a short taxi journey from Ashford International with trains departing every 15 minutes from St Pancras International. Getting here is easier than you might think.

A tutored tasting, followed by an three-course lunch expertly paired with our iconic sparkling wines in a relaxed setting.

“Really enjoyable tour, probably one of the most informative tours I've ever been on. Our guide on the Discovery Experience was engaging and knowledgeable and led a great tasting over lunch with a mixed knowledge group. The visitor centre is impeccable, and the vineyards are very enjoyable for a walk. If you aren't there for a tour, the staff are still very welcoming and will talk you through their products. Highly recommended!” — Alex

For any questions email [email protected] , or call 01233 884680.

Gusbourne, Kenardington Road, Appledore, Ashford, Kent TN26 2BE.

Opening Hours

10:00 - 17:00 Daily, Monday - Sunday Including bank holidays.

Gusbourne Estate, Kenardington Road, Appledore, Ashford, TN26 2BE

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Subscribe to our email updates for exclusive access to our limited-edition wines, as well as news about our latest releases and special events.

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Because you’ve shown an interest in our wines, we’d also love for you to sign-up to Gusbourne Select, launched in partnership with VinConnect.

Membership is free. There’s no obligation to buy. But if you do wish to purchase pre-releases of our new vintages or any of our limited-editions that are reserved especially for members, VinConnect will take care of getting your wines safely to you from our cellar door.

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Gusbourne will use this information to provide updates and marketing via email. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected] . We will treat your information with respect. For more information on our privacy policy, click here . By signing up, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

IMAGES

  1. Visiting Gusbourne Estate winery, Kent

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  2. Gusbourne Estate

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  3. British summertime at the Gusbourne Estate

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  4. Wine tasting in the garden of England: Taking the Estate Tour at

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VIDEO

  1. Blanc de Blancs Twenty Eighteen

  2. ENGLISH FIZZ: A WHETSTONE DISPATCH FROM KENT ENGLAND

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COMMENTS

  1. GUSBOURNE: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

    Gusbourne. 108 reviews. #1 of 2 things to do in Appledore. Wineries & Vineyards. Open now. 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Write a review. About. Our tasting room and cellar door, The Nest, is open all year round and we extend a warm invitation to anyone who wishes to enjoy the picturesque Kent countryside for a tour, tasting and to enjoy our award-winning ...

  2. Gusbourne

    Closed now. 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Write a review. About. Our tasting room and cellar door, The Nest, is open all year round and we extend a warm invitation to anyone who wishes to enjoy the picturesque Kent countryside for a tour, tasting and to enjoy our award-winning English sparkling wines. Visit our website to book your Gusbourne experience.

  3. Amazing Gusbourne Estate Tour

    Gusbourne: Amazing Gusbourne Estate Tour - See 99 traveler reviews, 140 candid photos, and great deals for Appledore, UK, at Tripadvisor.

  4. Wine tasting in the garden of England: Taking the Estate Tour at Gusbourne

    Gusbourne has two estates - the largest is here in Kent, but they also have 30 hectares in West Sussex. Those are planted with the three classic varieties of grapes that are used to make methode champenoise wines - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Our guide Basil, having given our group a quick tour of the vines, cracked open a couple ...

  5. Estate Tour

    Gusbourne: Estate Tour - approx 4 hours - See 88 traveler reviews, 130 candid photos, and great deals for Appledore, UK, at Tripadvisor.

  6. The Nest At Gusbourne: Wine Tasting And Tours In Kent

    by Great British Chefs 11 May 2023. English wine's burgeoning reputation means it has never been easier to celebrate the best of British. With that in mind, we headed to Kent to visit Gusbourne and spend a day at The Nest, exploring its vineyards, meeting its wine-makers and tasting its award-winning vintage wines. Great British Chefs.

  7. What a brilliant wine tour, tasting and experience!

    Gusbourne: What a brilliant wine tour, tasting and experience! - See 108 traveller reviews, 148 candid photos, and great deals for Appledore, UK, at Tripadvisor. ... Gusbourne_Estate, Guest Relations Manager at Gusbourne, responded to this review Responded 6 February 2018.

  8. The estate-grown sparklings of Gusbourne

    Six miles from the sea, Gusbourne Estate sits on a south-facing slope off the Romney Marsh, an ancient pilgrimage route and escarpment whose rain shadow and low altitude (0 to 45 metres above sea level) helps bring warmth and protection, and, crucially, ripeness. Relying entirely on its own estate-grown fruit, roughly 93 hectares are planted to ...

  9. British summertime at the Gusbourne Estate

    The Vineyard Tour (£25pp) decants a walk amongst the vines and a tutored tasting into a two-hour experience.; The Discovery Tour (£75pp) adds in some special bottles and a lunch of seasonal sharing platters, prepared on site by The Nest Kitchen. Around 4 hours. The Estate Tour (£95pp) relaxes guests into a three-course lunch over some exclusive rare-release and limited-edition wines.

  10. Gusbourne Estate Tour

    Book a visit Estate Tour Join us for our most popular experience - a tour of the estate, followed by an extended guided tasting of Gusbourne wines. Your experience will be rounded off with a delicious, seasonal three-course lunch, paired with more delicious Gusbourne wines. This experience is priced at £100 per person. £100 per person

  11. Gusborne: What's New at the English Wine Estate?

    As well as Gusbourne's full program of special premium events, wine experts and novices alike are invited to visit throughout the year to enjoy one of its three types of tours. For an entry-level look at Gusbourne's estate, book the Vineyard Tour, which takes guests on a guided walk through the vines, followed by a tutored wine tasting.

  12. Gusbourne Wine Harvest Tour: Fine English Wines from Kent

    The Estate's cellar door, tour and wine tasting operation is open daily from Monday to Sunday, including Bank Holidays from 10:00 - 17:00. At the moment, lunches are taking place outdoors and the museum section is temporarily closed. Tel: +44 (0)1233 884680. Email: [email protected]. The Nest.

  13. Gisbourne

    Join the Gusbourne Estate Tour and spend an afternoon unwinding in the countryside, tasting thier delicate wines over a leisurely lunch. Your day will begin with welcome drinks, before embarking on an extended tour of the estate and vineyards. You will then enjoy a wine tasting in the picturesque tasting room overlooking the vines, including ...

  14. Estate Tour

    Gusbourne: Estate Tour - See 104 traveler reviews, 148 candid photos, and great deals for Appledore, UK, at Tripadvisor.

  15. Estate Tours: One for Wine Lovers

    We've also been known to finish with Gusbourne's version of the rare Ratafia, a fortified digestif. It's a nice surprise. Book a four-hour guided Estate Tour, including three-course lunch paired with rare and limited-edition wines for £100 per person. All of our tours are also available to book as a gift.

  16. Gusbourne Estate

    High Quality Wines. We grow the highest quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes across the Gusbourne Estate, with 60 hectares in Appledore, Kent and 30 hectares next to the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex. These predominantly Burgundian clones yield smaller volumes of intensely flavourful fruit, which thrive in our unique ...

  17. Gusbourne Estate

    Visit. Visit Gusbourne in Appledore, Kent to explore the vineyards and visit The Nest, their luxurious tasting room. Open to visitors all year round, their cellar door stocks a range of limited-edition wines that are available to taste and buy exclusively from The Nest. Join them for one of their guided tours to discover how they produce their ...

  18. Gusbourne

    A new vintage of our best-selling wine is now available. The 2020 is especially plush, showing the warm, ripe vintage. It's generous and approachable, brimming with orchard fruits and toasty flavours. DISCOVER. A boutique English winery in Kent. Gusbourne produces the most awarded English Sparkling wine.

  19. Gusbourne Estate, Rosé, England, United Kingdom 2019

    The palate features red berry fruits and red apple peel with zesty blood orange, bitter almonds, and a touch of caramel, hinting at development. For the 2019 vintage Rosé, a small percentage of barrel-aged red wine was blended before the second fermentation. It was then followed by 36 months of lees ageing and finished with 8.2g/l of dosage.

  20. Tours and tastings

    Explore Gusbourne's cellar with Head Winemaker Mary Bridges. During this experience, Mary will give you a behind-the-scenes preview of the 2024 vintage and introduce you to the processes of making Gusbourne's award-winning wines. Be guided through a special wine tasting and enjoy a three-course lunch paired with our wines.

  21. The Nest at Gusbourne

    You are welcome to bring children on a self-guided tour around our estate free of charge, and The Nest serves soft drinks for drivers and under-18s. If you would like any additional advice before bringing children to the estate, please email [email protected] , or telephone 01233 884680.

  22. The Nest at Gusbourne

    You are welcome to bring children on a self-guided tour around our estate free of charge, and The Nest serves soft drinks for drivers and under-18s. If you would like any additional advice before bringing children to the estate, please email [email protected] , or telephone 01233 884680.