Summer BBQs and local community

We recently had a summer BBQ that was organised with the help of our local church group in Lea. It was the second year in a row we’d had the event and all credit really goes to them (particularly Sue) in terms of pulling it together. We’ve been really lucky with the weather both years. Thanks to Ann-Marie for the photos.

Last year for us was terrible. With the loss of Keith we were reeling and as well as trying to come to terms with that we also had to suddenly try to understand the workings of the vineyard and the business. Something that was always his project and his passion. It became apparent very early on that the only way we could possibly survive was through a radical business rethink and relying on the support of the local community - which in many cases didn’t know that we existed. Sue, and many members of the local church group (despite us not being part of their group), suddenly appeared and they helped not just with this event, but also in general (many thanks for the excellent strimmer). So it has come to pass that we’ve now had two lovely events with lots of local people, where we do tours, they have a BBQ and picnic and we also sell some wine. It is an absolute pleasure to host and to meet so many people.

In the past we did do some tours but they were always relatively small and few. We limit our still wine sales to supply only shops in Malmesbury. We can be more flexible with the sparkling. We could sell further afield but with such a small production and such a tiny margin on still wine, it just doesn’t make any business sense. We know that we have to have a local demand and means to sell to local people which is always going to be a challenge when we aren’t usually open to the public. What we want to achieve is local people knowing who we are, what are values are, what our product is like, and for them to be proud of us and support us, and think of us - and it goes both ways as we are very happy to be part of the local community too. This event was really a celebration of just that - it was joyful (and quite exhausting - I need to plan my talks better) and we’d like to thank everyone for coming and supporting our business. We’re so glad the sun shone and that so many people enjoyed themselves.