Published: 00:26, 21 February 2019
| Updated: 16:21, 24 September 2019
A Kent vineyard has become the only English winery to be awarded the highest visitor award by Visit England.
The 400 acre Staplehurst-based Hush Heath estate was given a gold visitor attraction accolade to recognise that it provides an outstanding experience to visitors from around the world.
Only 16 attractions across England have achieved the gold award based on scores from the visitor attraction quality scheme assessment.
The family-owned estate opened its new winery and 200-seater tasting room – The View, in the autumn, which attracted almost 2,000 visitors on its opening weekend alone.
Producer Richard Balfour-Lynn, who expects The View to attract up to 50,000 visitors a year for the next five years, said of the accolade: "Wine is about entertainment and hospitality. Our doors at Hush Heath estate are open to welcome visitors all year round.
"We have a world-class attraction that showcases the charm of the English countryside and respects the wildlife that lives here. The team in the vineyard and the winery are all very passionate about everything they do, which is why we are delighted to collect a gold award this year from Visit England. As the only English winery recognised for this award, the accolade really puts us on the map."
For more details on the winery go to hushheath.com