Happy New Year!
There’s a lot to cover, so without further ado:
We started 2023 with fairly low stock. 2020 & 2022 weren’t big vintages, and the success of our vineyard tours means that there’s always a lot of pressure on what little we make. We’re still waiting for a high yielding year to allow us to sell more to trade and build up stock, but until then we’re happy with our sales. Our 2022 vintage has been exceptionally popular (and rightly so!). Brigid & Branwen have been roaring successes, and we are yet to release our Madeleine which was awarded silver medal & second best still white at the Wine GB West Awards.
(And fun fact: we sold almost the EXACT same number of bottles as we did last year! A bizarre coincidence )
In the vineyard, 2023 was a challenging vintage. Rain throughout much of the summer led to high disease pressure and a lot of work to do on the vines. Tim worked exceptionally hard to save our fruit, and we came out of harvest doing better than we originally feared. We didn’t experience the glut of grapes that other vineyards experienced; which we are counting as a bit of a blessing. We never want to be stuck with substandard grapes/wine.
And as a side note, we are moving into our second year of Simonit & Sirch pruning which we expect to do wonders to our vineyard in the long term
In terms of visitors, it was a bit of a mixed year. We had an exceptionally busy start to our tour season. The sun was shining and the wine was flowing. Summer was a bit mixed because of the weather, but we ended up doing better and selling more than last year despite it all. We noticed a lot more online sales around Christmas, and also sold more to trade than previous years (The Forest Side , WineHub Devon , Bottles Wine Shop )
We’ve also been busy with a lot of other things (too many to mention). Our favourites are perhaps the wildflower research led by Duncan Westbury (University of Worcester / The Royal Agricultural University), the amazing support by Visit Worcestershire , and the creation of a bespoke vermouth for Hampton Manor).
And finally, we’re thrilled with the contribution our solar panels are making. We continue to look for practical ways to be more sustainable & environmentally friendly.
And as a final note, Chris & Matleena’s son, Arlo, is now 21 months old and thriving. He makes running a business challenging sometimes, but he is the perfect addition to our family. We hope you can meet him soon!
Thanks again for all your support last year.
We count ourselves lucky to have such an amazing customer base. We never take your support for granted, so we always hope & aim to do the best we can for you. Thank you.
2024 will introduce one (final?) big addition to our business. Bev & Tim have been doing a lot of work on this in the background, and some work has already begun. We’ll share more on this soon.
Thanks, again, as always.
Chris, Tim, Bev, Matleena, Arlo & Otso Haywood