Sharpham Vineyard, Totnes, Devon
Sharpham vineyard has one of the most beautiful settings on the banks of the river Dart where the sun reflects off the water on to the grapes. As a working dairy, the Sharpham Estate near Totnes is an ideal place to do a vineyard tour followed by a cheese and wine tasting.
- Self-guided vineyard tour
- Guided vineyard tours
- Taste Sharpham wine and cheese
- Have lunch at the vineyard café
The 550 acre Sharpham Estate made its first bottle of wine in 1985. In a good year, it now produces up to 100,000 bottles, the majority of which are snapped up by local hotels, restaurants and pubs. You can taste both sparkling and still wines here including a white, a red and a rosé. Some of their wines like Bacchus, with its tropical lychee taste, are made using grapes from the nearby Sandridge vineyard.
Tour the Vineyard
Come in the summer months to experience a guided tour of the vineyard. At other times of the year, you can do a self-guided walk. Each grape variety is labelled and there’s a handy leaflet that tells you more about each one. Madeleine Angevine, a white grape, is the main variety here. Originally from the Loire Valley, it was chosen because it’s relatively easy to grow in the UK. The walk takes approximately 30-45 minutes and will lead you past the house and down to the river.
Do a Tutored Wine Tasting
You can choose from a number of tasting packages depending upon how many wines you want to taste and whether you’d like to sample the cheese. For an all-singing, all-dancing tour, choose The Sharpham Experience which includes a tour of the house, vineyard and winery followed by a light lunch with a complimentary glass of wine. Make sure you taste Sharpham Estate, a dry citrusy white with hints of elderflower and the delicious rosé made with the Rondo grape which tastes like strawberries and cream.
Taste Delicious Sharpham Cheese
Next to the winery, you’ll find the dairy where they produce cheese using the rich milk from their Jersey cattle. They also produce a goats’ cheese. They’ve been making cheese at Sharpham since 1981 and have won a number of prestigious cheese awards. Visitors can peek through the windows of the creamery to see the various stages of the cheese-making process. It’s very good so don’t go home without tasting or buying some from the shop.
Go For a Browse in the Vineyard Shop
The small shop stocks a range of chutneys to go with the cheese. Try the honey and marmalade chutney from Hillside Pickles. Other local products of interest include ‘Dappa’, a Devon-take on grappa, the Italian marc spirit and Bell & Loxton rapseed oil. There’s a picnic area outside so buy a bottle of wine to enjoy with your lunch. Alternatively, eat lunch at the vineyard’s Anchorstone café.
- Visit the Dartmouth Food Festival in October and take a detour to visit Sharpham. The grapes may have already been harvested but the vine leaves will be turning a deep autumnal red
- Walk, cycle or arrive at the vineyard by boat
- Foodie Travellers seeking rest and relaxation should check out the programme of courses and retreats offered by the Sharpham Trust and held at the house. Courses include ‘Mindfulness with Cookery’
- You can buy Sharpham cheese at the Windsor Farm Shop and at the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop
- Looking for a gift? Check out our guide to the Best Gifts For Cheese Lovers
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Where to Stay in Devon
Historic Dartington Hall in Totnes boasts a medieval courtyard and beautifully landscaped gardens.
Rooms from £66 a night.
Great for me. Just make sure I’m on my lead and if I have a mishap, you clean up after me.