Who knew Norfolk produced wine!
Well I bet the last thing visitors to Norfolk would expect to see is an article about local vineyards!
Vines were planted throughout the south of England including Norfolk and as far north as Lincolnshire some 1600 years ago and certainly wine production continued well into the Medieval era.
However, it seems that with the rise in popularity of sweet and fortified wines like port and sherry, coupled with a shift to European wines brought about by a lowering of import duties and the struggle against diseases such as powdery mildew and phylloxia, the English commercial wines started to slide down the drain, finished off by the start of WW1 when land was needed for food crops.
Thankfully, viticulture is making a comeback with vineyard planting going at a great pace with more than sixty in Norfolk alone.
South Norfolk boasts a number of vineyards, in fact they are bursting forth like buds on a vine and the wine they are producing is challenging the European wines not only with their wonderful sparkling wines but with white, rose and red too. Great news not only for the growers but for the wine buffs too!
Some of the vineyards offer tours and talks on how to grow the wines and how to process the grapes and of course lots of tastings – the very best part of a tour!