This year, the UK’s wine hotel celebrates its 20th anniversary. The Vineyard Hotel in Berkshire is an oenophile’s dream and has been aged to perfection. Guests can discover 20 experiences at this unique hotel including:
Back to the Vine is the hotel’s headline event in 2018. Over 7 days, 7 chefs are welcomed back to The Vineyard. Each chef spent time shaping the culinary story of the hotel and all will join the current executive chef Robby Jenks between Monday 25th June and Sunday 1st July to prepare 7 unique menus.
- Monday 25th June – Shay Cooper
- Tuesday 26th June – Nathan Outlaw
- Wednesday 27th June – Matt Gillan
- Thursday 28th June – Richard Davies
- Friday 29th June – John Campbell
- Saturday 30th June – Daniel Galmiche
- Sunday 1st July – Billy Reid
Robby Jenks, the hotel’s Executive Chef oversees the 3 AA Rosette restaurant. He balances a selection of menus including the Discovery Tasting Menu (5 dishes), the Judgement of Paris Tasting Menu (7 dishes), a Vegetarian Tasting Menu, a lunch menu (3 courses), a dinner menu (3 courses) and a more relaxed California Bar Menu. Each menu offers the opportunity for a varied wine pairing.
Over 20 years The Vineyard has welcomed regular guest speakers for their ‘Lunch with…’ events. These events allow hosts to share their life stories and interact with guests over three course lunches paired with wines.
The Vineyard Spa has been awarded 5 bubbles by the Good Spa Guide. The Champagne of Spas is the perfect place to breathe and recharge. The indoor swimming pool is open to guests only. The spa offers treatments by Elemental Herbology and Darphin. Several signature treatments at The Vineyard Spa celebrate wine including the Red Grape Pampering Body Wrap. Spa experiences start at just £75.00 per person for an indulgent evening of pampering in the tranquillity of The Vineyard Spa.
All are invited to the annual California Wine Festival taking place on the 11th and 12th May celebrating the hotel’s Californian heritage. The California Wine Festival dinner on 11th May combines a selection of prestigious Californian wines with a seasonal menu. On 12th May a selection of Californian winery owners will showcase wines from across The Golden State at the Wine Festival Tasting. Dinner priced at £115 per person and Tasting priced at £30 per person.
Those interested in furthering their knowledge in wine can attend WSET courses at the hotel and instantly learn what a corked wine is and how to avoid one! Both levels 1 and 2 run throughout the year. Level 1 courses are on 18th March, 15th April and 10th June. Founded in 1969 to help educate wine and spirit professionals, the WSET specialise in courses for wine enthusiasts.
Throughout the year several Wine Schools take place at the hotel with several wine themes all decanted by a sommelier. Themes in 2018 include: Sherry and Tapas, Prosecco and Canapés, Cocktails, California and World Cup Past Winning Wines.
The Vineyard is an award-winning hotel. Over the years the hotel has won awards for its wine list, service, facilities and staff awards. More recently awards have included Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence 2001- 2006 & 2010- 2017, AICR UK, Receptionist of the Year- Sarah Woods, Winner 2017, The Caterer, Moet UK Sommelier Of The Year Regional Competition- Romain Bourger, 2017 winner and The Beautiful South Awards for Excellence, Large hotel of the year 2017 – Gold Award and Restaurant of the Year 2017 – Silver Award.
9 Grand Cru
There are 30,000 bottles of wine at The Vineyard. For that special occasion wine lovers can enjoy these Grand Cru wines… Pomerol, Petrus Bordeaux, France 1982 (Double Magnum), Pauillac, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Bordeaux, France 1982 or Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, CA, 2001 Enjoy a cellar tour hosted by an experienced sommelier or why not arrange a private wine tasting?
Walk around the hotel to discover more than just fine wine. Guests can expect a feast for the eyes too with the walls around the hotel full of art by artists including Henry Martin, Ronald Searle, Boris Smirnoff and Doris Zinkeisen. There are over 500 pieces of art across the hotel including in each individually designed bedroom.
Combine the aromas of wine and fine dining with several special Wine Dinner events throughout the year.
Afternoon tea is available daily and is served on a statement wine box. Pastry Chef Alex Edwards creates unique cakes and pastries including Warm homemade scones with strawberry preserve and Dorset clotted cream, Kalamansi Macaroon, Lemon Meringue Tart, Chocolate Pot, Pistachio Opera and Berry Entremets.
The 49-room Vineyard, with each suite and bedroom named after an iconic international wine is the ideal place to sleep. Press into some of the finest mattresses in bedrooms which feature unique art, a wine theme associated to the international wine and products in the bathrooms by REN. Experience a Taste of Vineyard with an iconic seven course tasting menu with paired wines, an overnight stay and full English or Continental breakfast the next morning.
The Vineyard Hotel has seen an increase in demand for English wines over the past few years coinciding with an increase in annual production. There are 10 English sparkling and white wines available at the hotel. English Wine Week takes place between 27th May and 4th June 2018.
Romain Bourger won ‘UK Young Sommelier of the Year’ for 2016. Romain was also awarded silver in the International Final of the Jeunes Sommelier Competition which was organised by The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, an international gastronomic society. Romain leads a team of sommeliers at The Vineyard Hotel and all guests dining at the hotel meet one of these knowledgeable members of the wine family.
Start the evening at The Vineyard with a cocktail in the hotel’s bar. Strong interiors feature wallpapers with striking gold on cork, and linen-look vinyl along with soothing and bold classic Farrow & Ball paints in shades of stone and yellow. Add in plush upholstered sofas and armchairs in rich chocolates, golds and contrasting tones for a suitably sophisticated setting. Old favourites include the Vineyard’s signature ‘The Vineyard Cocktail’ made with Taittinger Brut Champagne and a drop of mandarin essence and, the non-alcoholic Sir Peter Michael, created by the owner and wine producer himself, fuses sanbitter and orange juice. On 4 April, shake and stir your way to becoming an expert mixologist by attending The Vineyard’s Cocktail Masterclass.
The Judgement of Paris (or the Paris Wine Tasting of May 24 1976) is seen as one of the most pivotal moments in wine history. A blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines, nearly forty years ago, that forever changed the future of winemaking when unknown Californian wines were chosen over some of France’s finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados. Organised by British wine merchant Steven Spurrier, excellent Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were tasted alongside white Burgundies and Bordeaux reds. For Californian winemakers—and for winemakers around the world—the event transformed the industry. Those in attendance included journalists Odette Kahn the editor of La Revue du Vin de France and George M. Taber from Time Magazine. A comedy drama film; ‘Bottle Shock’, was released in 2008 and is based on the Judgement of Paris and stars Alan Rickman.
From then on Sir Peter Michael, owner of The Vineyard, was inspired. Here, in an atmosphere devoted to gastronomy, guests may recreate their very own blind tasting with wines matched to each of seven delicious courses prepared by British chef Robby Jenks. Traditionally a French and Californian glass are served with each course and the diner decides which they prefer. Each Judgement of Paris dinner also includes two blind taste tests to decide where the wine originates from; France or California. At the end of the dinner, guests raise a glass to California or to France. Which country gets your vote?
1998! The year it all started. The original house at the hotel is a former 19th century hunting lodge. It served as a country retreat for the Hartley family, who were ‘Lords of the Manor of Stanford Dingley’. The Vineyard was developed as a country house hotel in the 1980’s. During this period a conservatory, was added, along with function rooms. It was then known as the ‘Foley Lodge’. Sir Peter acquired the hotel in 1996, closed it down for a year and a half, and reopened in May 1998 as ‘The Vineyard at Stockcross’. It was originally known as a ‘Restaurant with rooms to stay’ but with a new wing built in 2004, 16 new suites were added to the hotel and The Vineyard is currently known as a luxury country house retreat. Why not try a wine from that year including the Hermitage, Jean-Louis Chave, Cuvée Cathelin, Rhone Valley, France.
Sir Peter Michael, the owner of the hotel, founded The Peter Michael Winery in 1982 on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges that form the western face of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California. Several award-winning wines from the winery are available at the hotel. The first vines were planted in 1983 and the first vintage released four years later in 1987.
30,000 bottles of wine are available in the cellars at the hotel. 100 wines can be enjoyed by the glass. Cheers!