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5+ Best Sussex Wine Tasting Tours in 2024

If you’re looking for the best Sussex wine-tasting tours, you’re in luck.

I love English wines, my brother is a professional wine buyer, and some of my favourite varieties are produced in Sussex.

The county’s microclimate and soil create ideal conditions for grape cultivation, resulting in some truly fantastic wines.

The following Sussex wine tours all offer a unique and enjoyable experience.

Whether you’re an experienced sommelier or an enthusiastic beginner, there are plenty of options available to satisfy your taste buds while discovering the local landscape and history.

Best Sussex Wine Tours

There are many different wine-tasting tours in Sussex to choose from, and I’ve done several of them.

To help you decide which tour to book, I’ve put together this guide to the best and most highly-rated options.

All of the following Sussex vineyard tours offer a fantastic opportunity to learn more about English wine and witness the winemaking process up close and personal.

You’ll explore some gorgeous English vineyards, witness the various techniques used to grow top-quality grapes and produce top-quality wine, taste different grapes, learn about the ageing process, and – of course – sample several delicious wines.

Check out this post on my favourite UK hidden gems.


1. Sussex Vineyard & Winery Bus Tour

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable wine-tasting experience, this tour is definitely one of the best.

Not only will you get to visit two of the most esteemed wineries in southern England, but you’ll also be travelling there in style – on board a vintage London bus.

This is one of the best and top-rated wine tours in all of the UK. With glowing 5-star reviews, and Viator’s Badge of Excellence, you know it’s going to be good!

It’s a full-day, small-group tour starting and finishing in Brighton, which is easy to reach by car or public transport from London and many other places in the south of England.

On the tour, you’ll visit two of Sussex’s finest vineyards, Court Gardens and Bluebell Estates. You’ll receive tours of both wineries and taste a selection of their still and sparkling wines.

You will also have the chance to explore the vineyards’ beautiful grounds and learn more about English wine production from grape to glass. And to top it all off, a hearty lunch is included at a traditional British country pub.

The tour runs from March through October and starts around 9:30 am (the exact start time is confirmed in advance).

It costs £125 per person, but this is good value given the quality of the experience and what’s included.

All transport is provided (on an iconic vintage London bus), and the provider offers free cancellation up to 24 hours before the start of the tour.

Key info:

  • Starts in: Brighton
  • Accessible via public transport
  • 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Number of wineries: 2
  • Lunch included
  • Must be aged 18+

Check availability and book now.


2. Hidden Spring Vineyard Tour & Tasting Experience

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly wine tour in Sussex, the Hidden Spring Vineyard Tour & Tasting Experience is an excellent option.

For just £20 per person, you’ll get a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the vineyard and winery as well as a tasting of four different vintages, including both still and sparkling wines.

The tour lasts for one hour and 45 minutes, and takes place every Saturday and Sunday year-round, starting at 2:30 pm.

It is a small-group tour with no more than twelve guests, ensuring a personalised and intimate experience.

The tour begins and ends at the Hidden Spring Vineyard itself, so transport is not included.

However, the vineyard’s location in the rolling hills of the Sussex countryside provides a relaxing and picturesque setting for the afternoon.

During the tour, you will learn about the vineyard’s history and winemaking process through a guided tour of the vines and winery.

You’ll see firsthand how the grapes are grown, harvested and turned into wine.

After the tour, you’ll be treated to a guided tasting of four different vintages, allowing you to appreciate the full range and complexity of the vineyard’s offerings.

Virtually all of the guests who have taken this tour gave it a 5-star review, making it one of the highest-rated wine tours in Sussex.

It’s an excellent way to discover the world of English wine without breaking the bank.

Key info:

  • Starts at: Hidden Spring Vineyard
  • Accessible via bus from Royal Tunbridge Wells and Polegate
  • 1 hour 45 minutes (approx.)
  • Number of wineries: 1
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Must be aged 18+

Check availability and book now.

Red grapes growing on vines in dappled sunlight

3. Full-Day Wine Tour in Sussex and Kent

If you’re looking for a fully immersive and luxurious wine experience in the East Sussex and Kent countryside, look no further than this full-day wine tour.

With perfect 5-star reviews to date, this Sussex wine-tasting tour promises to be a day to remember.

Starting at 10 am, the 6 to 8-hour tour is designed for a maximum of four guests, ensuring a personal and intimate experience.

The tour includes pick-up and transport from a nearby train station or your hotel, so you can relax and enjoy the stunning scenery without worrying about needing to drive.

During the tour, you will visit two or three of the finest vineyards in Sussex and Kent. At each winery, you’ll be given a tour and the opportunity to taste a selection of their wines.

You’ll also have the chance to explore the vineyards’ beautiful grounds, learning about the unique process of English wine production.

Lunch is included in the price of the tour too, making it good value for money overall.

Depending on the exact timings, you may even have the chance to visit a coffee roastery or brewery, adding a unique and interesting element to the experience.

Note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible and involves some walking on rough terrain, so please bear this in mind when booking.

Key info:

  • Complementary pick-up and transport from a nearby train station or hotel
  • 6-8 hours (approx.)
  • Number of wineries: 2-3
  • Possibility also to visit a coffee roastery or brewery
  • Lunch included
  • Must be aged 18+

Check availability and book now.

View down a row of grape vines running up a green hill with trees at the top

4. Vintage Coach Vineyard & Cheesemaker Tour of Sussex

For an extra special wine experience in Sussex, this full-day tour ticks all the boxes. You’ll visit Court Garden Winery and Bluebell Vineyard, both renowned for their award-winning still and sparkling wines.

A unique feature of this tour is that it also includes a visit to High Weald Dairy. Here, you’ll learn about the fascinating and skilful process of cheese making and will be able to sample some of their fabulous cheeses.

As part of the experience, you’ll enjoy a lunch made with local charcuterie, breads, chutneys, and salads paired with English wines and ciders.

With a maximum of 10 guests, you’re sure to get a personalized experience and really be able to take in the stunning views of Sussex and the South Downs National Park.

The tour starts at 10 am and lasts for around 6-7 hours. It’s a perfect, leisurely, and sophisticated day out.

Note that a small amount of walking is required on this tour.

Also, the experience requires a minimum number of guests in order to go ahead. If this number isn’t met, you’ll be offered an alternative date or given a full refund.

Key info:

  • Starts in: Brighton
  • Accessible via public transport
  • 6-7 hours (approx.)
  • Number of wineries: 2
  • Visit a traditional Sussex cheesemaker
  • Lunch included
  • Must be aged 18+

Check availability and book now.

Photo of grape vines taken during a wine tasting tour in Sussex

5. Three Vineyard Wine Tour of Sussex on Vintage Bus

This full-day tour is similar to the one above, in that you’ll be travelling around on a vintage bus and will visit Court Garden Vineyard, where you’ll taste a selection of their cool-climate wines.

However, instead of also visiting Bluebell Vineyard and High Weald Dairy, on this tour, you will visit the award-winning Ridgeview Wine Estate and Artelium Estate.

Ridgeview Wine Estate is one of my absolute favourite English winemakers and produces some of the best sparkling wine I have ever tasted.

In my opinion, it’s better than a lot of stuff made by famous Champagne houses (controversial, I know, but there we are).

This tour includes a delicious lunch in Ridgeview’s beautiful tasting room restaurant, made with seasonal local produce and paired with a glass of Ridgeview wine.

The final tastings of the day take place at Artelium Estate. This Sussex vineyard is a relative newcomer, having only opened in 2020.

However, they’ve been very successful so far and are quickly gaining a reputation for their excellent still and sparkling wines.

At the end of the tour, you will have a chance to browse the shop, stroll around the vineyard, and relax with another glass of wine as the sun goes down.

This tour is great for special events and is an amazing way to spend a day. I promise it will leave you with happy taste buds!

Key info:

  • Starts in: Brighton
  • Accessible via public transport
  • 8 hours (approx.)
  • Number of wineries: 3
  • Lunch included
  • Must be aged 18+

Check availability and book now.


BONUS: Private Wine Tour of Kent

Okay, so this one is actually in Kent (the next county along from Sussex), but I’m including it here because it’s a really superb wine tour and definitely one of the best in the region.

With glowing five-star reviews, and a Viator Badge of Excellence, this six-hour tour will take you on an unforgettable journey exploring the award-winning English wine produced in Kent.

During the tour, you will visit three different wineries, all of which are among the best vineyards in the region and renowned for their exceptional wines.

The vineyards that are visited change depending on when you do the tour. But, the list includes famous English winemakers such as Chapel Down, Gusbourne, Balfour Hush Heath, Brabourne, Biddenden, and others.

At each vineyard, you will get the opportunity to indulge in a selection of tastings, where you can savour some of the finest wines produced in the UK.

The tour also includes a delicious lunch that will be served either in a traditional country pub or at one of the vineyards.

This gives you the chance to sample the culinary delights of Kent, which is often described as the “Garden of England”.

Starting from Ashford International train station, which is easily accessible via public transport, this tour also offers a complimentary pickup service from various locations within a 15-mile radius.

You can, therefore, enjoy the tour without the hassle of worrying about transportation.

This private wine tour of Kent offers a highly personalised and sophisticated experience that showcases some of the region’s finest offerings.

Key info:

  • Starts at: Ashford International train station
  • Accessible via public transport
  • Free pickup within a 15-mile radius
  • 6 hours (approx.)
  • Number of wineries: 3
  • Lunch included
  • Must be aged 18+

Check availability and book now.

Red grapes growing in a lush green vineyard

Other Sussex Wineries To Visit

There are many other wineries throughout Sussex that are great to visit, and I’ve listed a few of my favourites below.

The majority of these places are happy to arrange tastings, although some require advance bookings.

However, you’ll need to have your own transport to visit most of these vineyards.

Unless you have a designated driver, or don’t mind taking a taxi each way (usually fairly expensive), it’s much easier to join one of the above tours.


Located near West Chiltington, Nyetimber is a renowned West Sussex vineyard. Their English sparkling wines are particularly special and you can do tastings and winery estate tours here year-round.

Address: Nyetimber Vineyard, Gay Street, West Chiltington RH20 2HH

Website: nyetimber.com

Wiston Estate

This winery is located near Worthing in the beautiful South Downs National Park and produces award-winning Sussex sparkling wine.

Address: North Farm, Pulborough RH20 4BB

Website: wistonestate.com

Albourne Estate

Given its close proximity to Brighton, Albourne Estate is very easy to get to and therefore makes a great day out from the city.

Address: Albourne Farm, Shaves Wood Ln, Albourne, Hassocks BN6 9DX

Website: albourneestate.co.uk

Beacon Down Wines

This winery is set in the stunning countryside of East Sussex and offers visitors a chance to enjoy wine tasting, vineyard tours, and more.

Address: Browns Ln, Cross in Hand, Heathfield TN21 0QJ

Website: beacondown.co.uk

Stopham Vineyard

This is one of the prettiest vineyards in England, set amidst green rolling hills, between Pulborough and Petworth.

Address: Stopham, Pulborough RH20 1EG

Website: stophamvineyard.co.uk

Breaky Bottom

Located between Lewes and the coast, this vineyard produces some of the highest-quality English wines around. They also offer tastings and tours of their stunning estate.

Address: Breaky Bottom Vineyard, White Way, Rodmell, Lewes BN7 3EX

Website: breakybottom.co.uk

Rathfinny Wine Estate

Near Alfriston in the South Downs, Rathfinny Wine Estate is a large-scale commercial vineyard offering fantastic wine tastings and tours.

Their tasting room and restaurant are gorgeous, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Downs.

Address: Alfriston, Polegate BN26 5TU

Website: rathfinnyestate.com/tasting-room

Bolney Wine Estate

In the heart of Sussex, Bolney Wine Estate is one of the oldest vineyards in the country. Dating back to 1972, this family-run vineyard offers a range of delicious white, red, rose, and sparkling wines.

Address: Foxhole Ln, Bolney, Haywards Heath RH17 5NB

Website: bolneywineestate.com


What’s Sussex Wine Like?

Sussex wine is produced using a blend of traditional techniques and modern technology, creating distinctive flavours that capture the essence of the region.

These wines are known for being of high quality and full of flavour.

The hallmark aromas of Sussex wine are pronounced, exhibiting a distinct floral and fruity fragrance that is unmistakable.

The palate of the wine is light and refreshing, with a subtle acidity that balances the sweetness of the fruit.

Many Sussex wineries also produce English sparkling wine, which tends to be very crisp and dry, with a lively effervescence.

Since the 1980s and 90s, this region has been at the heart of English sparkling wine production.

The wines produced here have won numerous awards and accolades for their exquisite taste and elegant appearance.

TL;DR: Sussex wine is absolutely delicious. The English sparkling varieties are particularly good and would give most Champagne houses a good run for their money.

Sussex Wine Varieties

The main varieties of wine grown in Sussex wine are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier for Sussex sparkling wine, as well as Bacchus, Seyval Blanc, and Dornfelder for still white wine.

Grapes grown for Sussex’s red still wines include Regent, Pinot Noir, and Triomphe d’Alsace.

Sussex also produces sweet dessert wines made from White Riesling, Huxelrebe, and Phoenix.

Best Time To Go on a Sussex Wine Tasting Tour

In terms of weather, the best time to go on a wine tour in Sussex is during the summer months, between June and September.

Although the weather in England is famously unpredictable, you’re most likely to enjoy a warm, sunny day if you come during these months.

However, in a typical year, most Sussex vineyards harvest their grapes around October.

This can also be a great time to come, especially if you want to watch the harvesting, squeezing, and fermentation processes in action.

Due to a range of factors (terroir, climate, landscape, grape variety, etc.), the exact dates for these processes vary from year to year and from winery to winery. It’s best to check in advance.

Vineyard in winter with bare trees and orange leaves on the ground


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about wine tasting in Sussex.

What time of year is best for wine tours in Sussex?

The best time for wine tours in Sussex is from late spring to early autumn, particularly between May and September, when the weather is warmer and the vineyards are lush, allowing for a pleasant touring experience.

How many wineries are in Sussex?

There are more than 130 wineries in Sussex. This large number of vineyards highlights Sussex’s growing reputation in the winemaking industry, particularly for its traditional-method sparkling wines that are gaining international acclaim.

What is the oldest vineyard in Sussex?

The oldest vineyard in Sussex is Bolney Wine Estate, established in 1972. Bolney Wine Estate was one of the pioneers in the modern English winemaking industry and is renowned for its contribution to the Sussex wine region’s growth and reputation.

What makes Sussex wine so good?

Sussex wines are excellent because the region’s climate, soil, and terrain create perfect conditions for vineyards. The similarity of its environment to the Champagne region in France, along with advanced winemaking practices, results in high-quality sparkling and still wines.

Final Thoughts

With its abundance of vineyards, beautiful countryside scenery, and top-quality wines, Sussex is rightly known as one of England’s premier wine destinations.

The region has been producing wine for over 1,000 years, with records dating back to the Domesday Book of 1086. Today, Sussex is home to over 20 vineyards, each with their own unique character and style.

I hope this guide to the best Sussex wine-tasting tours helps you enjoy a really special day sampling some of the finest English wines available.

Have you done any of these tours? Let me know what you think below!

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