Quality English Wines & Proper Kent Cider
"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food" W. C. Fields
We are openTuesday, Thursday & Friday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm for drop in customers, we are open some weekends as well, depending on markets and shows. Click here to check our markets or booking page for availability or simply call us on 01959 575 893 to check.
To book our winery for an evening wine tasting please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with your preferred dates & times and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Our cider is Kent grown and Kent made, Ringden Farm produce the lovely apple juice for us and we do the rest. You can buy our cider at farmers markets and shows in 500ml bottles or in a 3 bottle gift pack.
We are reintroducing our apple wine this year, a blend of Pinot Blanc grape juice and Kent apples produce this refreshing and crisp wine. Available in 375ml and 750ml screwcap bottles.
Not being tied to one vineyard for our grapes means we are able to offer uniquely blended wines with a wide range of phenolics & terroir.
The Winery & Wine Tasting Events
We first took over the Old Stables at Skid Hill Farm in April 2012. Since then we have been working hard to renovate a near derelict building into a working winery and increase our production from 2,000 bottles annually to our target of 20,000. We have now passed our initial target of 10,000 and have increased our sparkling wine production to reflect the increase in interest and sales in that area.
Wine tastings at The Old Stables offers an interesting and stimulating evening out, most people have a basic understanding of the process of making wine but are surprised that different climates and grape varieties, coupled with different wine making equipment & techniques have such an impact on the final product. We will happily answer any questions, if we can of course.
We are fully licensed and you are welcome to purchase wine on your visit, we will soon be stocking a range of local beers and plan to introduce some local spirits as well as our Kent cider of course
Quality English Wines
West Fisher Winery is one of the smallest commercial wineries in the UK producing between 7,500 to 10,000 bottles annually.
Our maximum tank capacity at present is around 15,000 bottles per year and growing.
As a wine producer but not a grower we buy grapes from UK vineyards to produce our wide range of wines. We currently purchase from vineyards in Surrey, East & West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Wiltshire and for the first time this year Hertfordshire.
We are a small English wine producer so everything we do is very much hands on. We can welcome groups of 2 people up to a maximum of 45 and you can choose to have a simple wine tasting for just £12.50 a head, a tasting with cheese & biscuits for £17.50 a head or a wine tasting with a finger buffet for £22.50 head (min 10 people & 7 days notice required).
Wine production has been a passion of our founder, Simon Fisher, for many years. Ever since he watched his mother make country wines as a child, fascinated by the process, the smells, sounds and the equipment she used.
It took a few years and a successful career in Architecture later to realise the dream and start producing wine commercially here in the UK.
We started production in 2009 and quickly realised how little we knew, this is one industry that teaches you patience, understanding and that every day is a school day!
By starting out as a winery, modelling our production on the California model of buying in grapes or leasing an area of a vineyard to make our wines we avoided a huge outlay initially and the usual 4 to 5 years most vineyards take to a viable wine to bring to market.
Establishing a route to market we felt was key to a long term success in wine production before planting our own vineyard, this is still a long term goal and we have managed 2 privately owned vineyards in the past.
Wine production in the UK is growing rapidly, as an industry in 2016 we produced around seven million bottles of wine in the UK, up from five million the previous year and it is set to increase rapidly over the next decade.
Birth of a Winery
When we arrived at Skid Hill Farm back in April 2012 this is pretty much what we found. It was actually worse than this with a lot more rubbish, debris and quite a lot of small four legged furry friends in almost permanent residence. We also boasted a very large wild bee hive in one wall and a lot of birds roosting upstairs.
It took a monumental effort, lots of hard work and patience with our landlord to complete the transformation.
The South East Vineyard Association & Wine GB
We are proud to be members of The South East Vineyards Association and are happy to promote English wine and wine production in the UK to it's full potential. The United Kingdom Vineyard Association & English Wine Producers recently merged to become Wine GB, the trading body that now represents all wine producers and vineyards in the UK.
Where to Find Our Wines
The main outlet for our wines at present is farmers markets, trade fairs, country shows or from us directly, either from our online shop or drop by the winery.
Please visit our markets page for a current list of all markets for the month and any special events we are attending in the current month. Our news page lists big events coming up in the near future.
Fountain Farm Vineyard
For many years we have been searching for a suitable vineyard site that is near to the winery and available for us to lease long term.
We have at last identifieed a suitable site and agreed basic terms for planting next year. It is not quite a done deal just yet but is looking very promising.
If we are successful we will be planting a mixed range of vines in April 2019, initially we are looking to plant Regent, Pinot Noir, Seyval, Chardonnay & Bacchus.