The Biddenden Vineyards were established in 1969 by the Barnes family, and they can justifiably claim to be Kent's oldest wine-grower. Expansion of the vineyard over subsequent years has brought the total vine area up to 9 ha. With some of the vines now 40 years old, an ongoing programme of vineyard renewal is in place. This is the reason behind the small plantings of Ortega and Pinot Noir which took place in May 2012 and 2013.
Most of the vines are German cultivars including Bacchus, Ortega, Huxelrebe, Reichensteiner and Schonburger. These are used mainly to produce dry white table wines, while reds are produced from Dornfelder, Pinot Noir and Gamay. Biddenden produces both blends and single varietal wines.
England is not generally renowned for its red wines, but Biddenden's Gamay (produced as in Beaujolais using carbonic maceration) has received particular praise for its fresh, fruity, light-bodied style. This seems to perform best in warmer years when the grapes have the chance to fully ripen. Grape picking began at Bibbenden on 6th September in 2014, which was their earliest ever, so there are hopes for an exceptional vintage.
In addition to their table wines, Biddenden also produce white and rosé sparkling wines.
The vineyard shop is open daily with a range of wines, ciders and juices. Free vineyard tours will be available every Saturday during 2015.
(Images © Biddenden Vineyards)
Gribble Bridge Lane
Tel: 01580 291726
Winemaker: Julian Barnes
Biddenden Sparkling White
Biddenden Sparkling Rosé
Gribble Bridge White
Gribble Bridge Rosé
Biddenden, Gribble Bridge Sparkling White, 2009
Straw; floral orchard nose; vigorous mousse, dry, fresh acidity, creamy complex citrus red berry palate, med length (7 May 2014) Highly Recommended, 87/100