Kingscote and the railway

Andy Cooper, estate manager, with members of the Bluebell Railway party
Andy Cooper, estate manager, with members of the Bluebell Railway party

Wines from a new vineyard will soon be tickling the county’s palates.

Former business and marketing manager Chris Monge bought 15 acres of land at Kingscote in 1999 and was intrigued to discover neighbours planting vines. He decided to create his own orchard (for sparkling English ciders) and vineyard.

Now the whole site is being developed, not just as a working vineyard and winery, but as a tourism destination.

East Grinstead Business Association spokeswoman Barbara Hibbart said: “People can travel here by train, transfer to the Bluebell Railway, take a horse-drawn carriage to the Kingscote Vineyard, enjoy a wine tasting and lunch prepared by a famous chef, spend the afternoon doing an Aga cookery course, clay pigeon shooting, fishing or simply ambling through the beautiful and quintessentially English countryside, before returning via the Bluebell Railway. The vineyard is strolling distance from Kingscote Station.”

A new bottling line is being installed and the first vintage will be ready next month to be followed by English sparkling wine ready later in the year and then sparkling cider as the apple trees mature.

Barbara Hibbart continued: “It’s been kept under the radar for a while while the vines develop but this is one of the area’s best kept secrets.”

For further information about Kingscote Vineyard and to took wine tasting sessions ring: 01342 326535 or email: