30/01/12The end of another season
First and foremost I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope you all enjoyed the festive season with a bottle of bubbly (especially if you are one of the lucky ones to have an English sparkling wine!!)
We have again come to a close of another exciting vintage at Tinwood Estate.
After a great start to the year we were hit by rain during our crucial flowering period in the vineyard. this led to a drastic reduction in yield of the vines. Although the vines yielded poorly the quality of fruit at harvest time was exceptional – so the 2011 vintage will be one to watch out for, but get it before it runs out as there wont be much available!
This year also saw the planting of our third vineyard. this vineyard is planted with burgundy Pinot Noir vines, so on those very hot years (few and far between it seems) we will make some nice red wine, but otherwise it will be blended in with the rest to make our lovely house bubbles.
The real reason this year has truly been exciting for us is because 2 months ago we released our first ever wine. we planted in 2007 and after four and a half years of bloody hard work we finally get to try the fruits of our labour. This was extremely nerve racking as we have invested heavily into the vineyard and although you can do your soil analysis, grape tastings, base wine evaluation etc you will never know exactly how the wine will taste. After the first tasting I was mightily relieved, the wine tasted better than we could have ever imagined. The mixture of a good vineyard site, a nice sunny summer and the brilliance of our Winemakers Mike and Simon Roberts at Ridgeview, we created an outstanding wine! the next step was to start selling.
Personally this was a new task for me. for all of my career I had been on the farm or vineyard growing and understanding my crops to get the maximum amount of potential. Retail was something I had no experience or training for whatsoever. So armed with a few cold bottles I got in contact with a few local restaurants for a tasting. I gave a bottle to Kevin Crisp who is the head sommelier at the world famous Goodwood Estate and thankfully he absolutely loved it. It was one thing for me to like my own wine, but for a professional wine taster to approve was a massive boost to my confidence. in fact all the restaurants loved the wine, so much so it was flying out of the barn. What I realise is that wine is a different product than many others, in that many people talk and discuss wine, and as such, with no advertisement or promotion in any way, people were stopping me in the street, phoning me and even knocking on my door trying to get hold of a box of this brilliant wine they have been hearing about. in the first 6 weeks of selling my wine I have sold over 1,000 bottles, all from the back of my pickup truck!
What is also great is that many business and local people are coming back for repeat purchases. it tells me that they are happy with the quality and the price of my wine! I have still yet to have a negative comment on the wine and I will aim to keep it this way for as long as possible!
We now have a product to sell so I have been gearing up promotion on a small scale. just recently I opened a Facebook page – have a look at www.facebook.com/tinwoodestate. You can “Like” the page to keep up to date on news, photos, parties and any promotiions we are having.
Now begining on Monday we start the new year. we will be pruning back last year’s growth ready for a new season and this will be included in my next blog.
Cheers and thanks for reading.