There’s a little bit of the Mediterranean up at Adgestone Vineyard near Brading where you can sample their award winning wines whilst nibbling on Greek or Italian tit bits.
The 43-year old vineyard is the oldest in Britain although it is likely that the Romans, who built the villa just below this south-facing slope of Brading Downs, would have been growing grapes here almost 2000 years ago.
It is also possibly the only vineyard that plays Radio four to its vines at high volume. Apparently this helps to deter the birds from the ripening crop!
Chalky soil and the Island’s sunny climate made this an ideal spot to start wine production back in the late 1960s. Now the vineyard produces six different wines: two reds, two whites, and a sparkling white and rose.
Alan and Gill Stockman took over Adgestone 15 years ago and built the visitors’ centre, the café and the shop shortly after their arrival. You can tour the cellars to see the wine being made and then taste the wines, or opt to buy a bottle or two to have with Italian style antipasto or Greek mezze in the café.
You might like to have a bottle of Adgestone wine especially personalized as a gift or for a special occasion. Labels can be produced while you wait, or you might opt to order several crates of personalized wine for a wedding.
In the shop you can also purchase Godshill Cider, Goddards Ales, Tomato Stall pickles and relishes and other Island produced goodies, along with wine related items such as corkscrews and coasters.
Murals on the wall of the café are very Meditteranean as is the yellow and blue colour scheme. Alan previously owned Café Renoir in Kentish Town, London and brought the same theme with him to the cafe, which is ideally suited to the wine tasting going on within, and the menu features dishes that complement the evaluation of wine admirably.
Outside on the terrace you can watch the harvest while you take morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea. Harvesting runs mid September through to mid October. Their cream teas have been recommended by the AA Guide to the Best Cream Teas of Southern England.
Visitors are also permitted to walk up though the vineyard and the view from the top is quite stunning.
To find the vineyard you take the upper Adgestone Road that turns off from the Downs Road near Brading, or you can reach it from the Newport to Sandown Road, at the mini roundabout at Winford. An undulating pretty country road, this is part of the ‘quiet’ Adgestone Road and care is needed on the often high sided narrow lane.
Adgestone is open from 10am till 5.30pm daily until the New Year when it closes for the month of January. Last orders for food are at 4.45pm.