At Rencraft, we love supporting fellow local businesses.

So we were delighted to be invited on a rare day out from the office, to attend a VIP Tour and Wine Tasting by our friends at Hush Heath Vineyard near Staplehurst.

Kent is fast-becoming one of the most promising new regions for wine production, and at Hush Heath they are leading the way with numerous award-winning vintages on their wine list.

However, all good things come to those who wait, so before we were given the opportunity to taste a selection from the well-stocked wine cellar, we were treated to a tour of the beautiful grounds of the Balfour Estate where the team at Hush Heath tend their vines.

With rows as far as the eye could see, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you had accidentally wandered into a hidden corner of France, rather than our very own Garden of England, and as we walked our guide was only too happy to tell us all about the wine-making process and to answer any questions we may have. Then, after a stroll back through the ancient woodlands, we were given an exclusive look inside the winery itself.

By this point we were all eager to sample a glass (or two) for ourselves, and our guide led us up to the Tasting Room where we enjoyed sweeping views while being expertly guided through six delicious tastings.

Clearly a business with family at its heart, a number of the wines, beers and ciders (yes, they even offer their own versions of these too along with honey and apple juice) have been named after the Balfour’s own children, with even the dog getting a mention in the title of the award-winning Liberty’s Bacchus.

With our tour at an end we whiled away another pleasant couple of hours on the patio, enjoying a couple of sharing platters accompanied by a bottle of the sparkling Balfour Brut Rose, before our taxi arrived to take us home. It really was a lovely afternoon, thoroughly recommended to anyone who is interested in local wine and who enjoys walking through the beautiful, Kent countryside.

If you are interested in visiting Hush Heath you can book tours and tastings through their website.