10 Wine Moments at The Vineyard Hotel – The UK’s Wine Hotel

November 22, 2018


The Vineyard Hotel in Berkshire is the UK’s wine hotel and the ideal destination for wine dinners, wine courses and events and even wine themed spa treatments. Every guest will learn something about wine whilst enjoying one of the greatest pleasures from wine - socialising.


Here are 10 wine moments at The Vineyard Hotel:


1 WINE DINNER - Judgement of Paris Tasting Dinner - The Judgement of Paris (or the Paris Wine Tasting of May 24 1976) is seen as one of the most pivotal moments in wine history. A blind wine tasting of French and Californian wines, nearly forty years ago, that forever changed the future of winemaking when unknown Californian wines were chosen over some of France's finest by some of France’s top wine aficionados. Organised by British wine merchant Steven Spurrier, excellent Californian Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons were tasted alongside white Burgundies and Bordeaux reds. For Californian winemakers—and for winemakers around the world—the event transformed the industry. Here, in an atmosphere devoted to gastronomy, guests may recreate their very own blind tasting with wines matched to each of seven courses prepared by British chef Robby Jenks. Traditionally a French and Californian glass are served with each course and the diner decides which they prefer. Each Judgement of Paris dinner also includes two blind taste tests to decide where the wine originates from; France or California. At the end of the dinner, guests raise a glass to California or to France. Which country gets your vote?


2 WINE ART - After the Upset - As guests arrive at The Vineyard Hotel, they are greeted with a huge canvas ('After the Upset') of the legendary 1976 Judgement of Paris wine tasting dinner commissioned by Sir Peter Michael (owner of the hotel) in honour of the event. This is one of the greatest pieces on display and is a commission by artist Gary Myatt. This is the beginning of the art and wine journey at this unique hotel. Despite not attending the event himself, Sir Peter was immortalised in the iconic painting and can be seen bearing witness to the start of the new era of appreciation for Californian wine that would eventually lead him to create the Peter Michel Winery in California and The Vineyard Hotel.


3 WINE PEOPLE - Meet the Sommelier - The Vineyard Hotel is home to six sommeliers from around the world. The team of sommeliers is lead by Romain Bourger who has won many awards including Young Sommerlier of the Year and Moet UK Sommelier of The Year, Regional Competition. Marie Clothilde Konecny Dardel is one of three female sommeliers at The Vineyard Hotel. Marie has achieved WSET level 2 and Master Sommelier level 1.


4 WINE FILM - Bottle Shock - The California Bar at The Vineyard Hotel is home to several pieces of wine memorabilia including famous wine themed film posters. The most famous is Bottle Shock inspired by the Judgement of Paris. The film was released in 2008 and starred Alan Rickman.


5 WINE BOTTLES - Wine Cellars - 30,000 bottles of wine are available in the cellars at the hotel. Guests can request a tour with one of the sommeliers. All guests can see the impressive cellar which includes soil from Sir Peter Michael’s California winery. The cellar is visible under a lit glass floor in the main lobby.


6 WINE SCHOOL - Regular Wine Events - Wine schools with a different theme, Lunch with special guest events and an annual California Wine Festival all make the hotel a hub for wine activities. Special guest chef appearances in 2018 included seven former chefs returning for special dinners and late November sees one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs Michael Caines OBE join Executive Head Chef Robby Jenks for a special cook off.


7 WINE SPA - Red Grape Treatments - The Vineyard Spa has been awarded 5 bubbles by the Good Spa Guide and includes an indoor swimming pool. Several signature treatments at The Vineyard Spa celebrate wine including the Red Grape Pampering Body Wrap.


8 WINE AWARDS – Celebrate with over 100 Glasses - The Vineyard is an award-winning hotel. Over the years the hotel has won awards for its wine list, service, facilities and staff. More recently awards have included Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence 2001- 2006 & 2010- 2017 and Best Wine Strategy 2018 award at the Springboard Awards for Excellence. These awards can be celebrated with a wine by the glass list containing 100 wines. Cheers!


9 WINE FAN - Peter Michael Wines - Sir Peter Michael, the owner of the hotel, founded The Peter Michael Winery in 1982 on a square mile of rocky volcanic ridges that form the western face of Mount St. Helena in Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California.  Several award-winning wines from the winery are available at the hotel. The first vines were planted in 1983 and the first vintage released four years later in 1987.


10 WINE FESTIVAL – Vine Fest - The Vineyard Hotel hosts an annual wine festival showcasing wines and suppliers from across California and 2019 will welcome a new look ‘Vine Fest’ in May.


After all those moments guests can relax in one of the hotel’s 49 luxury bedrooms, all named after a different wine / vineyard.  


Eat. Sleep. And drink wine.


The Vineyard, Stockcross, Newbury, Berkshire RG20 8JU 01635 897589

Accommodation and breakfast is priced from £255 based on two guests.

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