We thought we would round off this series of English Wine Week blog posts by telling you about our plans for the future. We (Holly and James) moved to St Martin's in February 2020 to take on the management of this unique site from the vineyard's creators, Val and Graham. You can find out more about the history of the vineyard in the first of our posts in this series, and fortunately Val and Graham are working with us to pass on the skills and experience they have gained in order to secure it's future.
Our timing was unusual to say the least - a month after we moved here, lockdown happened and we weren't allowed to leave even if we wanted to! Not that we had any wish to do so - we were already in love with the island by then and instead spent the lockdown period getting established, learning about the site and developing our plans.
One exciting addition to the vineyard, coming later in the year, is bespoke accommodation in the form of two shepherd's huts located in the former lavender field within the vineyard. This little field is in a beautiful & well-sheltered spot, protected by high evergreen hedges, and just two minutes walk from the beach. We are hoping to offer vineyard stays throughout the season, along with special experience holidays such as the chance to work with us on the harvest and wine making in autumn. If all goes to plan, we will be welcoming our first guests in September 2020, but this will of course depend how the COVID situation develops.
We are excited to be following the natural trajectory of this vineyard and moving from minimal input to full organic management in 2020 - read more about our approach and plans in this blog post from earlier in the series. Further plans to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environmental credentials include solar panels to power the business and winery, and upgrading old equipment to new, more energy-efficient standards.
As I write this, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors for vineyard tours and tastings in just a week's time and this is something we are passionate about - nothing quite compares to being able to walk around a vineyard, see the grapes and then taste the wine which has never even left the vineyard gate. Later this year we are also hoping to upgrade the visitor experience around the vineyard with new information and interpretation boards for those who would like to take their time and explore at their leisure, as well as other improvements to enhance the site.
There's lots to do, and lots to keep us busy, but we're very excited to see these plans come to fruition over the next few years. If you are able to pay us a visit, we would love to meet you and show you around the vineyard; however if the travel to the islands is a little much, there's always the opportunity to order wine from our online store.
Thank you for sharing this Virtual Guided Tour with us for #EnglishWineWeek - we will keep updating this blog regularly throughout the year so watch this space to see how the vineyard progresses through the season!