Club visit to Denbies Winery, Dorking – 28 July 2017
Despite the rain, 12 of our members and guests enjoyed a day of education, tasting and history at Denbies estate in Dorking.
The Denbies Estate, based in Dorking, Surrey, has been family owned and run since 1984. Denbies vineyard was planted in 1986, and since then has become one of the largest wine producers in the UK. Denbies wine now competes on an international level, including multiple gold awards for sparkling wine production, the first ever gold for an English rose wine and most recently an international gold for Denbies Noble Harvest Dessert wine.
The day began with an introduction, tour and tasting of some of the award winning wines. Members then enjoyed lunch in the conservatory restaurant and had the opportunity to catch up with each other. After lunch we were treated to a “train” ride around the estate and then a stroll (well a bit of a walk actually) up to the original estate church (a beautiful building steeped in history). The original estate dates back to the 1700s but in 1850 the first Baron Ashcombe (Thomas Cubitt, a master builder) took ownership and added a substantial number of buildings to the estate, including a schoolhouse, school and church). Thomas Cubitt was famous for his work on the east front of Buckingham Palace, Osborne House for Queeen Victoria parts of Belgravia and Pimlico (his brother Lewis Cubitt, architect, designed Kings Cross station). Indeed the Cubitt family have further royal connections – the present Duchess of Cornwall is the granddaughter of Roland Calvert Cubitt, 3rd Baron Ashcombe.
All in all, a great day and opportunity to do something different outside of the City. I would highly recommend a trip out to Dorking for those who could not attend the day – hopefully the sun might shine for you!
Many thanks to our membership secretary, Suzanne Hoenig, for arranging a great day.