The Lambs and Wine of Tintern: Parva Vineyards
While visiting the must-see Tintern Abbey, you might notice a couple of hand painted signs imparting the simple message "Lambs and wine ->". I urge you to obey these gentle commands. Like many off-the-schedule stops, this one proved to be one of the best of the weekend. Tintern's Parva vineyard is a true gem.
Not even ten minutes from the abbey, up a steep hillside, an unassuming farm called Parva sits. A small welcome sign pointing the way to the gift shop is the only clue you've reached the promising "Lambs and wine" destination. After paying the small 2 pound entrance fee your tour begins...
Starting with the lambs, a very kind Judith Dudley shows you around a small stable containing about a dozen different kinds of sheep and their young. After a month traveling around the UK (and let's be honest, more than a little effort) this was the first time we were able to touch the adorable fluffballs we'd seen stumbling around many shires. "My husband can't help himself when he sees an interesting sheep at the market, he usually brings home a surprise". Judith patiently answered our month's worth of sheep-related questions, showing us the difference between indigenous sheep, Scottish modified, and the perfectly bred for sale sheep we commonly saw on the road.
When we had exhausted the little sheeps and their stead, we headed up the hill to have a look at the vineyard. Though in May there is not much to see grape-wise, the small winery is obviously impressive, and the backdrop breathtaking.
After trampling the grounds, a winetasting is in order... also included in the 2 pound tour fee. Though the owners "never thought in their lives they'd make wine", their offerings are impressive, with many of their labels boasting UK and international tasting medals. I'm not much of a white drinker, but even I was won over by their 2015 white claiming both a silver medal in the Welsh wine festival and a Bronze in the UK wine awards.
Leaving this winery, I could not wipe a smile off my face. Experiences like these are my favorite part of traveling. Finding a little corner of the world, where passionate people are eager to share their experiences, and are good at what they do. That smile continued the whole day until the beautiful white was cracked at dinner.