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Surrey vineyard named England’s best vineyard experience by International Wine Challenge and VisitEngland
High Clandon Estate Vineyard achieves near-perfect customer experience score to be named IWC Cellar Door of the Year winner
The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has today named Surrey’s High Clandon Estate Vineyard its 2017 Cellar Door of the Year winner, the culmination of a new partnership with VisitEngland to uncover England’s best vineyard experience.
- Run by husband and wife team Sibylla and Bruce Tindale, High Clandon Estate Vineyard received top marks throughout the extensive assessment process which evaluated overall customer service and touristic value as well as the quality of its wine.
- The evaluation included an accredited VisitEngland Quality Assessor visiting the vineyard posing as a regular customer. The winery received a perfect score across a number of evaluation categories including its tour, cleanliness, retail/merchandise and staff.
- Situated in the rolling downs of the Surrey Hills, the vineyard’s tour was singled out by VisitEngland’s assessor for its walk through a charming wildflower meadow and truffle orchard. The knowledge and passion of the team were described as ‘infectious’ and staff were praised for tailoring the tour to the varying knowledge levels of the guests.
- The tasting of the vineyard’s Celebration Cuvee and The Essence liqueur in the newly opened Glass Barn was described as a visit highlight.
- High Clandon Vineyard Estate was selected as the winner from the shortlist of IWC Cellar Door of the Year Gold Medal winning vineyards announced last month. The shortlist included Denbies Wine Estate, Rathfinny Wine Estate, Bolney Wine Estate, Hush Heath Estate and West Street Vineyard.
- Throughout the evaluation process, IWC Cellar Door of the Year Silver Medals were also awarded to Chapel Down, Chilford Hall Vineyard and Halfpenny Green Vineyards, all of which are known for award-winning English wines.
- As part of its ongoing commitment to helping English wineries thrive, VisitEngland provided all entrants with a detailed report of the findings following their visit, as well as offering advice and support on areas for enhancing visitor experiences.
Chris Ashton, Events Director at the International Wine Challenge, commented:
“The team at High Clandon Estate Vineyard has crafted a truly exceptional visitor experience and this victory is the result of their boundless passion and pride. Their knowledge and attention to detail has created something that visitors cannot help but fall in love with, whether they are a wine buff or simply looking to try something new. High Clandon Estate Vineyard is a beacon of England’s flourishing wine tourism.”
Chris Ashton continued:
“In its first year, our partnership with VisitEngland on the Cellar Door of the Year initiative has already gone a long way to shining light on the wonderful work being done by English wineries to boost wine tourism in this country. We want to support our homegrown talent in that endeavour by offering advice to help them enhance their offering. Together, we can help English vineyards build a world-famous wine tourism industry and introduce more people to England’s enticing wine scene.”
Sibilla Tindale, owner of High Clandon Estate Vineyard commented:
“Both Bruce and I are very, very thrilled to have won this prestigious award from the IWC, especially as this is the year of the competition and with the quality of the other five finalists being so high. What an accolade for us being a small boutique vineyard striving to enthrall our visitors and to encourage them to explore and enjoy English and Welsh wine.”
Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland Director commented:
“Wineries are contributing a huge amount to the diversity of the tourism experience with more visitors discovering them, enjoying them and helping spread the benefits of tourism across the country.”