At Black Chalk Wine we welcome you to join us for a vineyard tour & wine tasting. During your visit you will see a working vineyard and winery in action. We are one of a few vineyards in Hampshire that has the vineyard and winery on the same premises so you get to see everything in the wine making process! In this article we'll walk you through what to expect from your tour.
What to Wear on a Tour?
If you are thinking about visiting a vineyard and winery, there are a few things you may want to consider beforehand – it’s a good idea to wear flat non-slip shoes as you will be walking on uneven ground and be prepared for the weather – in England this may mean a heatwave (hat, sunscreen and water is sensible) or perhaps rain (waterproof coat and/or umbrella is essential). In order to admire the beautiful views across the valley here, we will take you for a walk to the top of one of our vineyards.
When you arrive, we will show you our Rivers vineyard and provide you with a little history covering the origins of commercial winemaking in this country and how Black Chalk Wine came about – we promise not to go all the way back to Roman times though as we don’t want to lose your interest at the beginning of the tour!
We will then move on to a little bit of geography and cover climate and soil – we must, of course, mention the chalk! We will take you for that little hike up the slope to admire the view across the River Anton, a chalk stream that meets with the River Test – this is your chance to take those photos to share with your friends to make them jealous!
We will then talk about the yearly life cycle of the vine – any gardeners will totally relate to this when we cover how we prune and manage the vines throughout the year.
When's the Ideal Time of Year for a Wine Tour?
Vineyards look very different throughout the seasons and there is something to see at any time of the year – but if you really want to see grapes, plan your visit between July and September. We will talk about Harvest which happens in Autumn and how the grapes are delivered to the winery.
We will then take you into our modern winery and show you all our shiny equipment and talk through a step-by-step process on what happens to the grapes once they are brought into the winery, how we make our wine and, very importantly, how we produce those bubbles! We will show you into our chilled area of the winery where we store all our wine which is going through its ageing process and explain how we finish it off before it is released.
Wine Tasting & Lunch
After the tour you get to have a sit down and enjoy a tasting sample of the 'Black Chalk Classic' and hopefully appreciate all the hard work and effort that has gone into producing this spectacular glass of fizz! We will follow this with a tasting sample of our 'Dancer in Pink' with a brief description of how this still wine is produced. You may have ordered a lunch and this will then be delivered, if you haven’t you can order on the day (you may be tempted to once you see the food!) If it’s a nice day, you can enjoy your tasting/lunch in our courtyard overlooking our unique circle of vines vineyard which you are welcome to explore after. Alternatively, we have a cosy tasting room with a wonderful ambience so don’t be put off by bad weather! For those who are still thirsty, you can order more wine (by the glass or bottle) and enjoy the atmosphere for a while longer.
You will hopefully find the experience fascinating, especially if it’s your first visit to a vineyard and winery – you should go home having learnt some interesting facts about how wine is made and appreciate the passion that goes into making it.
And, of course, if you want to take anything other than your nice memories of Black Chalk away, you can buy some of our wine and perhaps some local produce to enjoy at home.
When can I book a Tour & Tasting?
Our vineyard tours run all year round, Thursday to Sunday during summer months and Saturdays and Sundays only during winter months.
You can book tours & tastings for up to 10 people. Please contact us directly if you have a larger group. We have options with or without lunch. Our options include cheeseboard, charcuterie, smoked trout, paté or afternoon tea. Children and dogs are welcome.
We do not charge for children unless you would like us to provide them with lunch.
Tours can be booked online here and we look forward to welcoming you on one soon!