Ever since I left school I’ve had a huge interest in wine. Whilst at my first job, which was at 3M in London, I signed up for a wine course, which I went to every week in the evenings, and even before that, at school, my first recollection of an interest in wine was when I won the school economics prize.
You could choose the book that the head master presented to you at speech day and I chose the World Atlas of Wines and at the age of 17. I have to say, he wasn’t very happy about that. So my passion goes back a long time and essentially it’s taken me 35 years to achieve my dream in having my own vineyard. Ever since my late teens I was really interested in wine, but then of course career and family took over; I was in the IT industry right to when I was able to retire early just before I was 50. I always had this dream of having my own vineyard but thought it would need to be in mainland Europe, because of the weather. But then I met Stephen Skelton, a master of wine, who persuaded me of two things; firstly that you can produce great wines in England, and secondly that it was financially viable. So I was bitten by the bug of having a vineyard in England. I lived in Albury at the time and, together with the Albury Estate who own the land locally, chose a site suitable for planting vines. English sparkling wine is now achieving huge international acclaim, and the key to success of our wines is the vineyard’s commitment to organic and biodynamic principles. I’ve achieved my dream, which I have to say is a fantastic feeling!
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Albury Vineyard is situated on the southern slopes of the North Downs in the beautiful Surrey Hills, just outside Guildford on the A25 towards Dorking. The vines are the traditional Champagne varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as some Seyval and Pinot Gris. We are committed to producing organic fruit without the use of chemicals such as herbicides and fungicides, and produce English wine of the highest quality; a still rosé and quality sparkling wines.