The Feathers Inn at Hedley-on-the-Hill in Northumberland, run by Rhian Cradock and Helen Greer, has gained a bit of a reputation over the years for its restaurant and fine range of cask ales, seeing it win Great British Pub and Gastro Pub awards in recent times.
As well as having a yearly real ale festival, which will often showcase many local breweries, The Feathers also prides itself on putting together an English Wine and Cider Festival.
So on this sunny Bank Holiday Monday, we headed off to Northumberland taking a pleasant drive along winding lanes through the picturesque landscape, to try out one or two of the wines on offer.
We arrived to a busy beer (or should we say, wine/cider?) garden with folk already enjoying a glass or two as well as tucking into the offerings from the BBQ.
The range of wines on offer could be purchased by the glass, bottle or 50ml sample, we opted for the latter so as to try more of the range without becoming too tipsy in the process.
As with previous years, producers such as Bolney, Chapel Down, Denbies and Three Choirs were all present, with new (for us) at this event, Biddenden, Leventhorpe and Nytimber.
Wines that we particularly enjoyed were:
Three Choirs Regalia 2011: Madeleine Angevine, Phoenix, Schonberger, Siegerrebe and Seyval Blanc – Hedgerow, elderflowers, mineral notes with zest and a decent finish
Biddenden Gribble Bridge Rose 2012: Dornfelder & Acolon – Strawberries and cream, structured with an acidic backbone
Broadwood’s Folly English Sparkling Wine NV: Reichensteiner and Seyval Blanc – the grapes are from the North Downs and made into wine at Denbies by John Worontschak – Good nose of fresh apples with a hint of melon and brioche on the palate and a creamy finish. However, the bubbles did fade a bit too quick from the glass.
The Bank Holiday was now well and truly underway…!