Take a sip of Wales’ wine country on your narrowboat holiday

September 5, 2017

Over the past 20 years, Monmouthshire has become a centre for winemaking. Good quality soil, good irrigation, and the gentle slopes of local hills provide excellent conditions for grape growing and ripening. Monmouthshire’s vineyard owners have been carving out a name for themselves for producing high quality wines and creating compelling visitor experiences. For wine lovers, a relaxing holiday on a narrowboat on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal could be the perfect base from which to sample the delights of local vineyards. Here are three of the best producing high quality, award-winning wines:

Sugar Loaf Vineyard, Abergavenny

Nestled on the beautiful slopes of the Sugar Loaf mountain, the Sugar Loaf Vineyard has five acres of vines planted with seven varieties of grapes. Its carefully balanced soil and south-facing location give its wines a special character. They have won awards in national competitions and have been given quality status by the European Wine Standards Board. The wines include:

  • Calon Lan - a clean and crisp dry white wine made from Reichensteiner grapes.
  • Madeleine Angevine - made from the grape variety of the same name popular in Alsace. It is an aromatic and dry white wine.
  • Abergavenny - a medium dry white made from Reichensteiner, Madeleine Angevine, and Seyval Blanc grapes.
  • Sugarloaf Blush is an off-dry rosé, made with Regent and Seyval Blanc grapes.
  • Hiraeth – a sparkling white wine made from Seyval Blanc grapes in the champagne method.
  • Rhosyn – a crisp, pink sparkling wine.

Visitors can wander around the vineyard free during opening hours and enjoy a tasting tray from £3.Find out more about Sugar Loaf Vineyard.

White Castle Vineyard, Llanvetherine, near Abergavenny

Owned by Robb and Nicola Merchant, White Castle Vineyard is on a gentle, south-facing slope which is ideal for growing and ripening grapes. Pinot Noir, Rondo, Regent, Seyval Blanc, and Phoenix vines were planted in 2009, with Siegerrebe vines planted the following year. A total of 4,800 vines were planted and the first harvest was in 2011.The wines include:

  • Rondo 2014 - a classic, medium-bodied red.
  • Regent 2014 – a fruity red wine.
  • Sparking Rosé 2012 brut – an elegant sparkling wine.
  • Rosé 2013 – a refreshing wine made from Rondo, Siegerrebe, and Pinot Noir grapes.
  • Gwin Gwyn 2014 – a delicate and dry white wine made from Phoenix and Siegerrebe grapes.
  • Sparkling White 2012 brut – a sparkling wine with floral notes.

Visitors can book conducted vineyard tours followed by a wine tasting for £12 per person, and watch out for special events during Wine Week and at Christmas. Find our more about White Castle Vineyard.

Parva Farm Vineyard, Tintern

In the rolling hills of the Wye Valley, Parva Farm is a 40-minute drive away from our base on the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal. Owned by Judith and Colin Dudley, it welcomes visitors all year round and its farm shops sells cider, perry, and mead alongside its wines.Its site is planted with Bacchus, Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir, Muller Thrugan, and Regent vines. Parva Farm’s sparkling wine won the "Best Welsh Wine in the Competition" trophy at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition in 2016.The wines include:

  • Tintern Parva Bacchus 2014 – a dry, white wine.
  • Tintern Bwthyn Rhosyn 2014 – a high quality rosé.
  • Tintern Parva Ty Coch 2014 – a light, dry red wine.
  • Tintern Parva Afon Gwy 2014 - a medium white wine.
  • Tintern Parva plum and berry wine – a sweet and fruity red.
  • Tintern Parva Dathliad Sparkling 2013 brut – a quality sparkling wine.

Visitors can take self-guided tours every afternoon except Wednesdays for a £2 per person entrance fee. Guided tours cost £10 per person.Find out more about Parva Farm Vineyard.

Why not combine your love of sampling British wines with the sheer relaxation of a break on board a narrowboat? You’ll find access to public transport from the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal and our base in Gilwern.

Call us on 01873 830240 to book your Road House narrowboat. Check our narrowboat holiday availability and prices.

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