Shawsgate Vineyard, Framlingham, Suffolk
Shawgate vineyard near Framlingham has the only winery in Suffolk. It offers a range of vineyard and wine tasting experiences so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Shawsgate vineyard just outside Framlingham offers wine tasting experiences, vineyard tours and a vineyard trail
Just outside the pretty market town of Framlingham, with its English Heritage castle, lies Shawsgate Vineyard. I visited in late September when the grapes were ripe and just days away from being harvested.
In need of exercise and fresh air, I spent a pleasant half hour walking the vineyard trail before sampling wine, guided by the very knowledgable Pat. The wine tasting room and outdoor marquee were busy with visitors either enjoying afternoon tea or wine tasting.
For the perfect Framlingham day – visit the castle, the vineyard and then finish with dinner at The Station Hotel.
Visit Shawsgate Vineyard on the Suffolk Tourist Trail
Drive along the Suffolk Tourist Trail and you’ll see brown signs, depicting a bunch of grapes, pointing to vineyards along the route.
Shawsgate vineyard is one of the earliest Suffolk vineyards having been planted in the mid 1970s. Although it’s changed hands a few times since then, what stands today is 20 acres of flourishing vines.
As Suffolk’s main winery, it’s here that local wine producers such as Wyken Vineyards bring their grapes at harvest time to have them blended into wine.
In a good year, Shawsgate vineyard can produce around 35,000 bottles including both white and red still wines and sparkling too.
Shawsgate Vineyard welcomes visitors to Suffolk
Shawsgate vineyard grows both red and white grape varieties
Walk the Vineyard Trail
Shawsgate vineyard welcomes visitors who just want to turn up and walk the vineyard trail. It’s free and they give you a handy map explaining the plantings and the different grape varieties.
You’ll see rows of Acolon and Rondo vines along with Muller Thurgau, Seyval Blanc, Bacchus and Reichensteiner.
There are well placed benches so you can find a peaceful spot and look out for local wildlife. Rabbits and hares run between the rows of vines and you may be lucky enough to spot deer, too.
Enjoy Afternoon Tea at the vineyard
Roses are grown at the end of each row of vines
Choose From Different Vineyard Experiences
Shawsgate vineyard is well set up to cater for visitors enjoying different vineyard experiences.
In addition to their wine tasting room and shop, there’s an outdoor marquee and a pretty courtyard with seating.
One of the most popular is the ‘Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting For Two’ experience day, available to buy as a gift through Red Letter Days.
It gives you a fully-guided tour of Shawsgate’s winery and vineyard so you learn all about the delicate wine production process before participating in a guided tasting of five of their best wines.
Shawsgate Bacchus 2013
Grapes ready to be harvested
In the shop you can taste wine before you buy.
Like many English vineyards, Shawsgate produce a Bacchus dry white. It’s good with fish and is popular with local fish restaurants including the Butley Oysterage in Orford.
The bouquet brims with notes of elderflower, citrus and honeyed tropical fruits. It has a gentle acidity and good fruit flavours, particularly grapefruit.
Taste the sparkling rosé, it won ‘East Anglican sparkling wine of the year’ in 2015 and, if you like Beaujolais, you may like Venus, a red wine with peppery tones.
- Wine produced by Shawsgate vineyard is available to buy in the local branches of the Co-op in Suffolk
- There is a children’s play area next to the Tasting room
- Go for dinner at The Station Hotel in Framlingham (booking recommended). Try the filet of hake with chickpeas, chorizo, coriander and harissa followed by roast peaches and lemon curd ice cream
- Visit Framlington Castle where there is free entry for English Heritage Members
- Although it doesn’t stock wines from Shawsgate, Waitrose Wine Cellar sells Suffolk wine from Giffords Hall vineyard
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Hotels in Framlingham
The Crown Hotel
If you’re looking for accommodation in Framlingham, The Crown Hotel is a characterful and historic hotel in a beautiful location. Expect wonky walls, quirky touches and generously sized bedrooms.
Ready to Start Planning a Suffolk Weekend Break? See All: Best Places to Stay in Suffolk
They tell me that dogs are welcome on leads when accompanied by responsible owners.
How to Find Shawsgate Vineyard
Shawsgate Vineyard, Badingham Road, Suffolk, IP13 9HZ
The Foodie Travel Guide
Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.