Monday morning, 09:15, St Pancras Station. We meet to take the Javelin train to Ashford International where Neil and Laura from Gusbourne are waiting to whisk us deep into rural Kent. Our destination: The Nest, Gusbourne Estate’s HQ and our base for the day. Overlooking the picture perfect vineyards, The Nest is a beautifully designed, wood lined space dedicated to the brand with a thoughtfully curated information area on the ground floor and elegant tasting room upstairs overlooking the vines.
Touring the vineyard with Neil and Laura, we hear about the micro climate enjoyed by this area, just 6 miles inland and the second driest place in England (to think that it might just have been raining in London whilst we basked in sunshine in our little corner of Kent!). We walk along what used to be the coastline in Saxon times and over to the southern end of the estate where the younger vines are being harvested. Watching the picking team at work, we hear that their twelve hour day produces an incredible 45 tons of perfect grapes (bunches that do not make the grade are discarded) and that the aim is to complete the entire sparkling wine harvest in just two weeks. Following the tractors back to The Nest and heading inside, we are impressed by the rows of thermo-regulated stainless steel tanks and traditional oak barrels in which the grapes are fermented, enthusiastically tasting the grape juice at the various stages of the wine-making process and hearing about the lengthy and painstakingly-planned journey from vine to bottle.
And so to the grand finale. Up in the tasting room, we enjoy lunch and a tasting of Gusbourne’s products, both sparkling and still. These exceptional, artisan English wines are making waves on the global stage and it is very easy to see why. With 2017 being billed as a great growing year, the wine made from ‘our’ grapes will be ready for drinking in approx 4 years time and, frankly, after all we have seen and tasted, we will be first in the queue to snap it up.
By Word of Mouth is proud to feature Gusbourne Brut Reserve and Gusbourne Rose on our wine list – please contact us to find out more.