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Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking

3.6
#3 of 16 in Things to do in Dorking
Denbies Wine Estate near Dorking, Surrey has the largest vineyard in England with 265acre under vines, representing more than 10 per cent of the plantings in the whole of the United Kingdom. It has a visitors' centre that attracts around 300,000 visitors a year.HistoryThe estate is named for an early owner called John Denby. In the mid-18th century Denby's farm buildings were converted into a gentleman's residence by Jonathan Tyers, proprietor of Vauxhall Gardens near London. Tyer's garden at Denbies was in startling contrast to the frivolities of Vauxhall, being adorned with memento mori ("reminders of death"). The property passed through several other hands, and in the 1850s it was rebuilt on a larger scale by the preeminent Victorian master builder, Thomas Cubitt. He was visited at Denbies by Prince Albert, who planted a commemorative tree which survived until the Great Storm of 1990. The house remained in the Cubitt family until the Second World War, when it was requisitioned by the military. In the 1950s Cubitt's great grandson decided to demolish the house as he lacked the funds to restore and maintain it. He converted the laundry and gardener's house into a smaller Regency-style house. In 1984 the estate was purchased by local businessman Adrian White.Wine productionDenbies is situated on the North Downs, which are a range of chalk hills the topsoil of which consists of fertile loam interspersed with flints. From 1986 to 1989 White had the south-facing slopes planted with vines, which cover 265acre of the 627acre estate, the remainder of which is woodland and pasture. The average yield is 300,000 litres of wine per year.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
631 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • August 21, 2017
    I cannot praise the Galleries restaurant enough, in particular Victoria who went out of her way to help me with table preparations. I had booked for four of us to celebrate a friends 50th birthday and...  more »
  • August 20, 2017
    Stunning setting, great wine, good food and I can't help going back every time (and we live down the road, which is dangerous!). The tour is also excellent- would highly recommend!  more »
  • August 19, 2017
    Great place for lunch with friends. Browse a vast range of wines and gifts. Art gallery and walks along with a tour of the estate if wished.  more »
Google
  • We often visit Denbies - it's a lovely venue situated in beautiful countryside. Usually it's just a coffee and a snack in the huge conservatory/restaurant but when friends are visiting we sometimes go on the interesting wine tour. The staff are very friendly and the prices aren't too expensive. You can also buy the excellent Denbies wine. A walk around the estate or a ride on the land train is recommended any time of the year. Definitely worth a visit.
  • Great courtyard and conservatory, good wine walk and knowledgeable staff. Looks like a nice venue for private events too. Prices for their own wine compare favourably to supermarkets that stock Denbies. Loved it!
  • Very picturesque place. We had previously tried some of their wine which we purchased from Waitrose and my wife liked it so we booked two tours. The indoor tours are all conducted together but are split at the tasting session at the end: wine, sparkling wine and wine & food. The guide was very knowledgeable and was happy to answer questions about wine making and the estate in general. It was interesting to learn that some of their wine is bottled as "supermarket own label" here in the UK but I'll let you take the tour to discover which ones :-) The outdoor tour is a land train which takes you up through the estate with several stops for lectures and photo opportunities. Some of the views are breath-taking. We ate lunch at the restaurant and that's why we docked it one star. It's a nice setting but the food was over priced and not of very good quality. We spent a pleasant afternoon in some spectacular countryside, learnt about wine making and sampled some good wine.
  • Beautiful location and friendly staff. Good selection of cakes, sandwiches and hot food options. I went with my daughter advance treat afterschool, we had lovely cake and hot chocolate, both of which were very nice.
  • Such a lovely place for a day out. The sparkling vineyard outdoor tour was great, very informative and amazing wine. Highly reccomended for adults and also children

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