What’s your story? How did your business start?
A plot of land came up for sale in 2017. It was close to where we live and has far reaching views across fields to the river Orwell. The land was planted but was so overgrown we weren’t sure if the vines were viable anymore. We began tidying up the field by cutting back the weeds and brambles. The vines were healthy and we decided to revive the vineyard, we never looked back and the rest is history as they say!
How many people are in your team?
There’s me, our apprentice Toby, Mary our neighbour who has been involved with the vineyard since it was planted and a team of three who work in our café/tasting room. We have other members of staff on a casual basis when the work gets busier at the vineyard and of course my husband and children help out when they aren’t working or at nursery!
Anyone interested in being part of the team please get in touch, as we will be looking for harvest pickers in October.
What makes Shotley Vineyard a cool place to work?
It’s a beautiful setting and part of a burgeoning industry – something to be really excited about and proud of! We work hard as we’re so passionate about our vines and wine and approach everything with a sense of humour!
What makes your products unique?
Unlike a lot of our competitions, we handcraft every aspect of the bakes, from the meringues to the salted caramel sauce, the candied oranges and much more. Everything is baked in small batches, with love and we think this shows.
What makes your products unique?
Our wines are single vineyard, which means when you buy a bottle of our wine you know it’s from grapes grown in Shotley. It’s also wine from a lovingly restored vineyard.
Inspiration behind Shotley?
We became really inspired when we realised the buzz around English wine. The industry is growing at a fast pace and the popularity and reputation of English wine is massively increasing. English wines show very well in blind tastings which indicates to me there’s so more potential in the industry. We’ve stumbled upon a site which is so beautiful and has mature vines – how exciting to be a part of that.
Best business moment?
Last year we entered our wines into national competitions and each wine got an award. We were thrilled!
A valuable lesson you have learnt?
I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to say ‘no’. it’s not something I find easy as I want people to have a good experience when they come here, but I’ve learnt that it’s best to find a format that works for you and your business and stick to it. I’m a mum of two young children and can’t be in two places at once.
How many products do you make?
Currently it’s three; a Bacchus, Pinot noir and a Sparkling Wine.
What’s your inspiration?
As this is a career change for me I try to take inspiration from a variety of places. I like to engage with other growers and vineyards. It’s also helpful to talk to others who have their own business. Even if they’re not in the same industry you learn a lot and can be inspire.
What’s next for your business?
We are hoping to expand our range of wines this year and increase production.
Name one thing you couldn’t live without..
CHOCOLATE! I know! am supposed to say my husband and children, but pass me the praline truffles!
Favourite song and why?
I have really happy childhood memories of listening to Hot Chocolate. I used to spend a lot of time in France when I was younger and the only cassette we had in the car was Hot Chocolate.
What’s your best joke?
I’ve trained my dog to bring me a glass of red wine. It’s a Bordeaux collie.
You can find more information about Shotley Vineyard on their website below, including their range, events on-site and more.