Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Weekend Break, Day Three.....

We had a later start on our third day of the trip as our first port of call was only 20 minutes away from the hotel.  After breakfast we boarded the coach for the 20 minute journey through the beautiful Surrey countryside to Denbies Wine Estate.  There was a low bridge at the entrance to the estate which barred the coach  from going further but there was a nice man in a Landrover pulling a little train of carriages waiting to take us to the main building where we would start our tour.    Apparently, in summer, the landrover train tours the actual vineyards, which must be a glorious sight however, as it was winter all the vines appeared to be nothing but sticks! 

Denbies Vineyard is, however, an all-weathere destination the "Indoor Wine Experience" tours operate all year round. Denbies produce around 400,000 bottles of fine wine a year and is the largest vineyard in England with 26 acres under vine.  The main distributors of Denbies Wines are Waitrose (South East), smaller independent specialist food shops, farm shops and independent wine merchants and of course the vineyard shop.

After watching short film about the beginnings and workings of the estate we then boarded an small train which took us on a tour of the wine making process.    We were able to take a few pictures as we listened to the running commentary about the various processes.

Fermentation tanks

Oak barrels for maturing the wine

The bottled wine.  Each cage holds 400 bottles.  

Decorative Oak barrels carved by a Belgian from Oak trees that were blown down in the great storm.
Unfortunately they cannot be used for maturing the wine because the wood itself has not been seasoned properly.   However they are very beautiful.

The very knowledgeable lady who explained all about the processes and different wines whilst allowing us to taste them.    We even got to keep the monogrammed tasting glass.

After the very enjoyable tasting we were taken up to the restaurant where a lovely lunch was waiting for us after which we had free time to spend in the shop which sold not only Denbies Wines but all manner of fancy goods too.  Of course we bought two bottles of the wine we enjoyed the most at the tasting to bring home.

After a very enjoyable visit, the nice man with the Landrover train was waiting to take us back to our coach for the next leg of our journey which was to  Wycombe Museum, an 18th century house on a medieval site. Surrounding the museum are Victorian gardens, including a nature trail.

Set in beautiful grounds, and with exciting hands-on activities, Wycombe Museum is a great place to discover the fascinating and varied history of the district and the famous collection of Windsor chairs, which have been manufactured in the area for many years.   Although it is a very small museum (just about enough room for 20 of us) there are a range of galleries to view including the 1920's kitchen, furniture gallery, history rooms as well as the art collection and opportunities to take fun photos.

We spent an enjoyable hour in the museum but it was time to return to the coach for the journey home.   We thoroughly enjoyed our action packed weekend and came home with some lovely memories and momentos.

I hope you enjoyed our weekend away.


Anonymous said...

It all sounds fabulous, the last two pictures are very funny!

Valerie said...

Yes, thank you, I did enjoy your trip, and your pictures.

Flowerpot said...

I certainly did thanks!

mrsnesbitt said...

So pleased you sampled the wine - would have been rude not to! lol!

Akelamalu said...

It was fabulous S,D&BS and we couldn't resist the funny pictures. :)

So glad you enjoyed Valerie

You're welcome and I'm pleased you enjoyed it all Flowerpot x

Well of course the wine tasting was compulsory Denise (wink)

Katherine said...

Oh what a wonderful way to make memories.I'm blog hopping today. So happy I found your blog. Wishing you happiness, Katherine

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

wonderful weekend get-away! such fun. go often while you can, things change so fast!

smiles, bee

Ron said...

Well, you know 'me' (being a wine lover), I enjoyed this post immensely! And I bet just being there and seeing how the wine was made and then tasting it, made it taste all the more better!


Love the face in hole photos of you and MWM. Flawless!

Thank you so much for sharing your weekend, m'dear! Thoroughly enjoyed it!



G-Man said...

It's amazing the buzz you can get from a few tastes of some different wine eh Ake?

Linda said...

Those wine casks are absolutely beautiful, it's too bad that they're only decorative, though. Did they say why they were never seasoned or were they carved strictly for decoration all along?

You and your MWM take some fantastic trips and I'm so glad you do as it gives me a chance to see parts of England I'm sure I'd never see otherwise!

Cloudia said...

Caged wine! Must be viscous- but you look great, Ake!

Comfort Spiral




secret agent woman said...

Oh, I love touring wineries!

Beach Bum said...

Awesome weekend, whenever my wife and I do something similar she always gets upset that I drink the wine too quickly. She says I need to savor it but as long as they are pouring I just figure I'll savor it several short times instead of just once.

Connie T. said...

Those are beautiful decorated oak barrels and a great picture of you too.

Akelamalu said...

Welcome Katherine, I'm glad you enjoyed your visit here. :)

That's exactly what we're doing Bee - travelling while we can. :)

Oh the wine tasting was the best part definitely Ron. I knew you'd enjoy that bit too. ;)

Definitely G (wink)

The casks were carved purely for decoration Linda and they were even more beautiful close up. I'm so happy you enjoy our little trips. :)

LOL vicious wine - you are a card Cloudia :)

Me too SAW!

I'm with you on that one Beach Bum LOL

Thanks Connie and, yes, the barrels were beautiful. :)

tony said...

What Lovely Photos! And A Great Place To Visit.Most People Don't Realize How Good Many English Wines Are These Days.Enjoy The Wines You Brought Back!

Spiky Zora Jones said...

akelamalu: hahaha, I like the pics where you fill the hole. they're fun huh? Oh and that one with you and the wine...I love that one of you.

I do love wine...and 3 glasses of it usually has me tipsy. I love it too much. :)

used to have grapes on the farm...table grapes.

have a fab weekend honey. xxx

Travis Cody said...

I'm not really much of a drinker, but the process of making wine, beer, and spirits fascinates me.

Akelamalu said...

I can certainly vouch for the Denbies wines Tony :)

I love wine too Spiky, especially a full bodied red. ;)

The brewing process is a fascinating subject which I enjoy learning about Trav but I enjoy the end result more. ;)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

'Caged wine! Must be vicious' - LOL, Cloudia! I thought the exact same thing. have a spirit orb hovering over your left shoulder in the decorative oak barrels shot...

Akelamalu said...

Oh yes, you're right Julia, I hadn't noticed the orb at all. :0