by Tom Mulvihill, The Telegraph, November 23, 2018
Following in the spirit of the many continental wine hotels that have popped up over the years among southern Europe’s grapevines, the prolific Denbies Wine Estate is set to open its first vineyard hotel in the UK.
The boutique new opening, which is slated for spring 2019, will see the addition of 17 en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant and a bar to the estate – currently the largest vineyard in Britain – which is located in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The £4-million project, which began in September, will see the transformation of the current Denbies Farmhouse, a seven-bedroom b&b, situated near the centre of the vineyard, which will form the core of the new hotel. Additional rooms and communal spaces will occupy contemporary extensions to the original building.
Wine will naturally be one of the key elements, and the entire range of Denbies vintages will be available for guests to taste by the glass via an Enomatic wine dispenser that can be activated with a room key card.
The interior design will reportedly have a rustic-boutique vibe, with natural bark walls in reception and bespoke furniture crafted from old barrels scattered throughout. There will also be a large garden with ‘cabana’-style seating areas for guests to eat and drink al fresco in the warmer months.
Jeanette Simpson, the chief operating officer of the Denbies vineyard, said: “We have a wonderful site here at Denbies which attracts around 350,000 visitors each year.
“The reputation of English wine continues to grow, and wine tourism is an integral part of communicating this message loud and clear. We look forward to offering a world-class vineyard and winery experience here in the heart of the Surrey hills.”
The new hotel marks yet another big step for the UK's rapidly growing wine scene, following the news earlier this year that Lympstone Manor, Michael Caines's gastro-country-house project in South Devon, is in the process of developing its own vineyard on the banks of the Exe.