In the vines at the heart of Yorkshire vineyard

How to Visit Yorkshire Heart Vineyard [Yorkshire]

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Have you tried English wine yet? Or Yorkshire wine? Well, it really is a thing, and it’s exceptionally good! There’s not just one North Yorkshire vineyard but at least three, and one of these – the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard – is picking up awards for its wine.

The Nun Monkton Vineyard, just 10 miles from the City of York, known as the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard, is a family-owned North Yorkshire vineyard that’s been producing English wine since 2000. The family also runs the Yorkshire Heart Brewery, and you can tour both the vineyard and craft brewery.

About Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

The Yorkshire Heart Vineyard developed from a love of making “country wine” at home using locally foraged hedgerow fruits and a real passion for horticulture.

In early 2000, husband and wife team Chris and Gillian Spakouskas started their business, planting 35 vines in their garden, and they made their first Yorkshire wine in 2005.

After rigorous testing of the site, climate and soil, in 2006, they selected their seven-acre field as the perfect place for the next 1,500 vines, and they added between one and three thousand new vines every April for five years until they had filled the field with 12,500 vines.

Today, this successful North Yorkshire vineyard has expanded to 10 acres, growing 17 varieties of grapes on 22,000 vines, with the complete grape-to-glass process managed in-house. On their journey, this Yorkshire winery has picked up an impressive clutch of industry awards for its fine English wine.

About the Yorkshire Heart Brewery

The Spakouskas family diversified into brewing in 2011 while waiting for their Yorkshire vineyard to become commercially productive. The brewery offered them a steady income and a popular product that could be made all year round.

Tim Spakouskas, Chris and Gillian’s son, is the passionate head brewer (and delivery driver if you’re local!)

Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

As I visited the vineyard during the pandemic, I couldn’t visit the brewery, which is usually included in tours.

The vineyard tour experience

Here’s what’s included in the tour I took:

  1. Wine tasting and a talk about this lovely North Yorkshire vineyard
  2. Tour of the vineyard
  3. Tour of the winemaking room
  4. Afternoon tea

1. Wine tasting and a talk about the vineyard

Arriving at the vineyard, I was whisked into The Wine House and sat at a table where a glass of the vineyard’s award-winning sparkling white wine awaited me. This 100% seyval blanc was very easy on the palate, and I’d have enjoyed more of it had I not been driving.

All of the guests on the tour loved this English wine, which won the Mercian Vineyard Association Awarded Best Sparkling Wine Trophy (2014) and the Best Older Vintage Trophy (2014), plus a Gold Medal! More than a few guests bought some wine from Yorkshire to take home.

Antipasti platter and a trio of tasting wines at the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard
The tasty little platter of nibbles with the tasting wines

As Chris talked through the vineyard’s history, with plenty of amusing anecdotes, we had three more wines to try and a tasty little antipasti platter to accompany the wine. 

The three Yorkshire wines that we tasted were:

  • Latimer White: this was light, fresh and bursting with apple fruit flavours, made from 100% solaris grapes,
  • Latimer Rosé: a very easy-drinking wine with a light pink colour and the flavour of sweet red summer fruits.
  • Latimer Red: a deep rich red with black plum, blackberry and slightly spicy flavours, made from 100% Rondo grapes.

2. Tour of the vineyard

Me in blue top and white pants paused on a walk through the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard
Vines as far as the eye could see at the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

After the tasting and introductory talk, we took a short walk out to the vineyards to see the vines and learn how to grow the perfect grape for winemaking. 

Chris talked about how to plant and cultivate vines, plus all of the essential jobs that keep him and his team busy year-round, including the pruning and harvesting, and what they need to do to keep the vines healthy.

3. Tour of the winemaking room

Next, we trooped off to the winemaking room to learn about the ancient art of winemaking. 

Winemaking at The Yorkshire Heart Vineyard
In the winemaking “room” at this North Yorkshire vineyard

Chris entertained the group with his tales about every step in the winemaking process, from crushing, pressing and preserving to maturing, filtering, bottling and labelling the finished product. Absolutely every step happens “in-house” at this family vineyard.

4. Afternoon tea

It was thirsty work, so we returned to the restaurant where Gillian had prepared bountiful afternoon teas for all, with a selection of sandwiches and delicious, freshly baked cakes. There were hearty fruit scones with lashings of jam and cream too. No host wants you to be hungry in Yorkshire!

Do you say scone as in moan or scone as in gone? There was much good-natured debate on this point. (In Yorkshire, it’s the latter.)

As we tucked in, we tasted more of the vineyard’s wines, and the till rang merrily as the orders tumbled in.

Top tip: You don’t need to worry about getting your precious bottles to your car either – there’s always someone on hand more than willing to do that for you!

afternoon tea platter at the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard
The hearty afternoon tea after the Nun Monkton vineyard tour

All in all, visiting the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard was a very relaxed experience and nothing like the vineyard tours I remember from many (many) moons ago in Bordeaux, where a group of us rocked up, quaffed some wines, bought enough wine to sink a battleship a few bottles and headed off back home convinced we had scored a huge bargain.

This was so much less hurried and more personal. Having the time to learn about the vineyard and its processes direct from Chris and Gillian was a real bonus and made for a lovely experience.

How to get to Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

This Yorkshire vineyard is about 20 minutes by car from York City Center and 40 minutes from Harrogate.

Address: Pool Lane, Nun Monkton, York, Yorkshire, YO26 8EL Call: 01423 330716 Web:

Alternatively, Hammerton (on the York to Leeds via Harrogate line) is the nearest train station, but it’s a 3-mile walk to the vineyard. If you need a taxi, just let the vineyard team know, and they will be more than happy to recommend a reliable local firm.

Vineyard tours

Tickets are £25 per person for the 3.5-hour Vineyard Tour (including the Brewery Tour).  You can also book lunch before the tour, afternoon tea afterwards (at an additional cost), or even book a picnic among the wines!

Here’s where you can check availability and book your tickets.

store in vineyard with bottles of wine and craft beer on display
The vineyard store is well stocked with Yorkshire Heart wines and beers

Opening hours: The vineyard shop is open Monday – Saturday from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm, for you to pick up your supply of Yorkshire wine, with the cafe opening on tour dates.

Where to stay near the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

If you’re visiting the area and fancy staying nearby, here are a few lovely places close to the vineyard:

The Tickled Trout Inn Bilton-in-Ainsty could not be more quaint. If you’re looking for a cosy room, thoughtful extra touches like milk in a Thermos for your morning cuppa, and very hearty food, this is a great choice!

Middlethorpe Hall & Spa is where to stay if you want a little pampering. It’s a real find! Dating back to 1699, this National Trust property oozes luxury, from the gorgeous guest rooms to the boutique spa, glorious gardens, and fine dining restaurant. It’s a great base for exploring the City of York and North Yorkshire.

So if you live in North Yorkshire or plan a visit to the area, I recommend a tour of the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard.

Yorkshire Heart Vineyard Shop
Molly the resident vineyard lab!

Where is your favourite vineyard? Is it in the UK or somewhere else? I’m planning more trips to vineyards near me to experience lots more wine tastings and wine from Yorkshire!

Check Out These Yorkshire Posts

The Most Beautiful Towns in Yorkshire

17 Reasons to Visit the Pretty Town of Knaresborough

Gorgeous Getaways From the City of York

12 Absolute Best Day Trips from the City of Leeds

Until next time!

Until next time Grey Globetrotters

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Tasting and a tour at the Yorkshire Heart Vineyard

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