• The Haywoods

Life in lockdown & beyond

Greetings from an eerily quiet vineyard. We hope you are all well and managing in your own ways.


Lockdown has been an interesting event for us. In some ways, we have witnessed and experienced some absolutely amazing things.


You, our loyal customers, have come together in force to support local businesses. Every Worcestershire business we have spoken to (Macneils, Hoplords, Nothing Bound, Broomfields, Bells Farmshop…) have said how trade is booming, thanks to their local customers. Of course, there are businesses who are suffering and who have had to change the way they operate, but we feel there is a lot of optimism and confidence amongst independent businesses like ourselves. You should all be proud of how your support are making businesses like us feel about the future.


Secondly, it has made us appreciate each other, and time, even more. We are a close family, yet this period has brought us even closer together (mostly!). We loved the popularity of our vineyard tours in 2019, but there is something nice about feeling unobserved and being able to do what you like. We have achieved so much more around the site and the vineyard this year, so when we reopen our doors to you in the months to come, we hope that you will notice the developments.


So, as we approach an easing of lockdown measures, it’s time to address our thoughts on the immediate future at the vineyard.

Reopening


In recent weeks we have experienced more and more people coming to pickup their wine, and to ask if we are open. It’s fantastic to see so many people interested in our business, and we have not turned a single customer away.


So, are we open?


Our overall feeling is that it is better to be safe than sorry, and so for now, we remain open by appointment only. We will undoubtedly reopen in the future, but for now, we ask that you contact us ahead of time if you plan to visit.


This decision boils down to our many conversations about the difference between being technically able to open, and being able to do what you want well. Yes, we probably could open our doors now with social distancing, but that experience would not be how we want you to remember us by. We don’t want you to feel awkward when you visit us, and so we will reopen our shop and launch events only when we feel we can achieve this.


As suggested, this also applies to our tours & events. At times, we have been overwhelmed with messages about our vineyard tours, so we very much understand how important they are to you. However, we want each and every one of you to have the best experience possible – not marred by awkward social distancing and restrictive hygiene regulations – and we do not think that we can achieve this with the level of precaution we would need to follow. We’re sorry, but we hope you understand our thinking on this.


HAVING SAID ALL OF THIS, if you need wine and need to get out of the house, we are here for you. Give us a ring or drop us a message. We are here, as always.

Wine stock


We are incredibly humbled, and thankful for your support these last 3 months. We did not ever hope, nor even dream about selling this much wine during this bizarre period. It has been amazing. Thank you!


As such, wine levels have changed at an unprecedented pace, and so we owe you an update on our current stock levels:

Severn Vale 2018 – 216

(801 sold since March)

[Starting stock: 1017]


Madeleine Angevine 2018 - 652

(508 sold since March)

[Starting stock: 1160]


Bacchus 2018 - 384

(499 sold since December)

[Starting stock: 1218]


Kerner 2018 - 346

(576 sold since December)

[Starting stock: 1300]


Late Harvest 2017 - 240

(61 sold since December)

[Starting stock: 1289]


Vintage Sparkling Kerner 2015 - 185

(57 sold since December)

[Starting stock: 500]


Sauvignon Blanc 2018 - 63

(105 sold since May)

[Starting stock: 168]


Orange Kerner 2018 - 124

(110 sold since May)

[Starting stock: 234]


As you can see, just 2 months after releasing our Severn Vale 2018, we are down to the last 200 bottles which is mind blowing. This wine usually spans 1-2 years, and at its current rate, it will only have lasted 6 months.


Our Sauvignon Blanc and Orange Kerner are also down to the last bottles within a month!


As usual, our recommendation is to grab bottles as soon as you’d like them as we cannot promise how long they will be in stock. Vintages come, and vintages go, and 2018 sure was a good one!


Leading on from this, the 2019s are now bottled and resting in our warehouse. Production output was significantly down this year (from 10.5k to approximately 6.5k) so be prepared for some quick turnarounds in the year to come. Hopefully, however, we’ll have some brand new products to quench your appetites…

Thank you's & honourable mentions


We are but one small business in a sea of others trying to keep their heads above water. Whilst we have focussed on fulfilling demand, customer satisfaction, and working on developments around the site & vineyard, other businesses have done some incredible things. So to finish off this blog, we would like to mention some people and businesses who have inspired us during lockdown. We encourage you to check them out, or thank them in person next time you see them.


Broomfields Farmshop & Bells Farmshop (and all other local farmshops) for providing crucial, and amazing service


Brad @ Londis Areley Kings Post Office for allowing us to fill his store room with deliveries.


Nothing Bound Brewery, Hop Lords & Chase Distillery for swapping provisions to keep morale up


Simon Day & Halfpenny Green for assisting us during bottling


Langham Wine Estate for bringing our region together with their Wines Of The West case


Alchemilla, Hampton Manor, Paisley Flour Catering & Land for selflessly giving back to those in need


Thanks for reading. We'll see you again.


The Haywood family

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Tel:  01299 822907

Office closed Tuesday & Wednesday.

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ADDRESS

 

Astley Vineyard,

Hampstall Lane,

Stourport on Severn,

Worcestershire,

DY13 0RU

Copyright Astley Vineyard 2019

SHOP OPENING HOURS

From July 4th

Friday - Sunday:    10:30am - 4pm

Monday - Thursday:   CLOSED

Astley Vineyard's new shop and winery were partly funded by the LEADER programme,  administered by Worcestershire County Council, and part of The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development:

Europe investing in rural areas

Photography Copyright Don Fossey/Peter Goddard/Peter Lopeman 2019

Illustrations Copyright Astley Vineyard 2019 (designed by WeAreBeard)