Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wine and Cider Day!

As it turns out, our GPS has the same "lets see where this road leads" style as Penny took us down this road en route to the Three Choirs Vineyard.  While it looks like single lane traffic, it is actually meant for two way traffic!  Fortunately, we made it all the way to the end (about 5 miles) before we met another car...and they were kind enough to back up for us.  It seems as though when Penny tells us it will take 30 minutes to get somewhere, we need to add at least 20 minutes to that for missed roads and inevitably being in the road lane on a roundabout and having to make another loop.

We finally arrived at the Three Choirs Vineyard and started with the tasting!  The vineyards were beautiful and a great way to start the day.  They produce 13 different wines, 3 beers and 2 ciders.  We tried 2 beers, 2 ciders and 11 wines...including 1 sparkling.  Only 2 really stood out for us...May Hill and English House Medium Dry.  The ladies in the vineyard shop were so very nice and helpful.  One of them even spoke "American" as she put it! 

A little too much vino...time for a nap!

Linda Lu doing her best to
polish off the wine! 

Next stop...Westons Cider.  According to Penny, it was only 15 minutes from Three Choirs...translation...25 minutes.  Both the winery and Westons were down very narrow roads...not a good thing for sampling their products.

This house (The Bounds) is where Westons began in the late 1800's.  Mr. Weston used to pay his employees in cider...needless to say, the workers moved a bit slower as the day progressed...the original apple trees ares till producing fruit but you can tell the workers were a bit tipsy when planting the trees.   

Mr Weston and his staff had trouble keeping the vats straight when they were numbered (probably has something to do with paying them in cider) so they named the vats.  Squeak is the largest vat...if you were to drink 4 pints a day every day, it would take 250 years to drink Squeak dry!

During their peak producing period (September - December), they produce 20,000 bottles of cider an hour!

After Westons, our plan was to visit Eastnor Castle.  Imagine our shock when we arrived only to find them closed...clearly they didn't get the memo we were coming!  All turned out well as we stumbled upon a cricket game...something I was hoping to see while over here.  Five minutes was plenty of time to watch the game...a bit like watching paint dry in my humble opinion.  Apparently Pimms and Sarnies make it a bit more bearable.

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