Through the whole winemaking process we are focused on maximising quality without compromise. We care for the vine and the wine with equal passion, and are proud of all of the wines that we put into bottle.
Wine Maker: Martin Fowke
How long have you been making wine?
Since 1989! So this year will be my 30th vintage!
Why are you making wine? What led you here?
My initial interest was in farming, and in turn then into viticulture and horticulture. A combination of this and the luck of meeting a girl whose father ran a vineyard in Gloucestershire!
What is the best thing about winemaking?
Seeing the process all the way through from a growing crop to a finished product. The variability every season and the challenges that change every year. The people in the industry and being able to live in the country!
And the worst?
Cold wet evenings cleaning down especially late at night during harvest!
When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
What is the greatest wine, other than your own, you have ever drunk?
Now that is a difficult one! I love Chilean Carmenere, and Alsatian Gewurtztraminer, but probably the wine that really had the wow factor for me was Brown Brothers Australian Tarrango, which I tasted when travelling in Australia. It had so much freshness compared to the big, heavy reds that they were producing at the time.
What is your favourite food and wine match?
A good red wine with great cheeses, ripe soft cheeses especially. Fresh Sauvignon Blanc or Bacchus with asparagus!
How much do you travel to promote your wines? Do you enjoy it?
Mostly just in the UK, although I have consulted for other companies in Chile, Argentina, Bulgaria, Italy, Spain. Not so much now. Our market is mainly in the uk, and most tastings seem to be centred around London. I love visiting for a day or two, but also love to get back to the peace and tranquillity of the countryside.
What do you think of the ‘natural wine’ movement?
I think anything that promotes less interference and use of external ingredients is commendable, but shouldn’t adversely affect the quality.
Do you have a hobby outside winemaking?
Sport, sport, sport! Rugby, Hockey, Cricket, Tennis, Golf – anything that has a bit of competition and a ball!
Harvest brings pride
As the grapes arrive at the door of the winery there is a strong sense of pride and achievement from the vineyard team. The potential is there in the grape for the winemakers to nurture and develop. As the annual cycle ends in the vineyard so it starts in the winery.
Production manager: Kevin shayle
A good winery needs to be well organised and efficient. The winemakers have ultimate control on quality, but ensuring that things are done when they need to be done is both an art and a science. Kevin has been in charge of winery operations for more than 25 years and co-ordinates people, wines, packaging and transport to ensure that things happen when they should.
A selection by taste
From the time that we consider picking to the final decisions before bottling, we put high importance on tasting, trusting the expert palate and the skill of our winemaking team.
Our winemaking team are aware of the importance of science and analysis, but our primary focus is on taste. We taste the wines regularly through the making process, making decisions based on our senses, using the scientific analysis to back up our tasting decisions.
And next year it will start again
As the vines go into dormancy and the fermentation’s bubble away gently in the winery through to the end of the calendar year, we look forward to the next 12 months. We plan carefully, prune hard and talk of the perfect summer, as eternal optimists always do. We cope with adversity, as do the vines, we rise to a challenge, but never compromise on quality!