The Guardian: In the midst of the summer washout, thoughts inevitably turn to warmer evenings abroad. My last trip away pre-Covid was to Bergerac in south-west France, and memories of it kept me going through many a dark day of lockdown.
I have since moved to rural south Norfolk, where recreating a French holiday actually feels very achievable: we have locally produced food, hot-air balloons and brocantes (flea markets). Sussex has been compared to Provence, so surely the Waveney Valley is the new Dordogne. Why bother with queues at Dover when everything you need is on the doorstep? Visit a vineyard for a spot of mid-morning wine tasting My first stop is Flint vineyard in Earsham. Unlike some of the more historic wineries in the south-west of France, Flint has been going since just 2016. In that time it has built up a reputation for producing excellent English wines – but is it any match for its French rivals? The founder, Ben Witchell, pours out their 2022 Charmat Rosé while explaining that French and English wines are incomparable – “we don’t have any rules here”, he says. He should know: he worked in Beaujolais before setting up the vineyard in (normally) sunny East Anglia. Wine tasting shortly after breakfast feels très Francais. “It honestly doesn’t feel like you are in Norfolk sometimes,” says Flint’s Dan Kirby as we inspect the vines, a bumper crop thanks to 2022’s hot summer.
Nayeemul Islam khan
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