Oatley Vineyard: The Next Generation(s)

2020 – All Change!

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

Written by Ned, and posted in the:  FamilyStoryVineyard Category

This years to do list: Give up corporate life, plant a vineyard, convert a barn, sell a house and oh, play in puddles. That sounds achievable doesn’t it? Meet the family who are going to make it happen.

Iain and Jane (aka granny and grandad) moved to Oatley over 30 years ago with their then young family to establish the vineyard, long before English wine was a legitimate thing. It was the best playground any kid could ever have so when the twins came along the obvious choice was to do the same thing.

The conversation went something like this:

Us: Can we make this happen?

J&I: Yes!

Us: Fab, we’ll need somewhere to live

J&I: There’s a barn that could make a lovely home

Us: Fab, we’ll also need jobs to pay for stuff, twins aren’t cheap!

J&I: Well there’s the top field that could be cleared and more vines planted

Us: Fab, we’ll sell our house in Hampshire and be there ASAP!

We are are lucky enough that Ned’s brother Fred, and his wife Nora, are award winning architects based in Copenhagen, what are the chances of that!?  They’ve designed a barn conversion which meets our family needs, complements the landscape and is sympathetic to environment, we couldn’t be more thrilled with what they’ve created, more on that later.

Next on the list is reestablishing the top field as a vineyard, and that is exactly what’s happening.  A lot of work is required to first clear and then prepare the field but all going well we should be planting next May, v exciting!  Until the new vines start producing grapes we will be helping Iain and Jane in the existing vineyard. This gives us the benefit of getting hands on experience throughout the season – from pruning the vines to picking the grapes – which will be vital when we have our own vines to tend.

And let’s not forget playtime. The twins love every moment there. From picking blackberries, to playing in the red Somerset mud, throwing sticks for Jack and Benji (the vineyard dogs) and feeding Aunty Liz’s horses the occasional apple.

We have a long way to go and a lot to learn but with the support of our family, we can do it.

Read more about the original Oatley story here

Meet the Family: (L-R), Iain, Ned, Albert, Jane, Edith, Paula, Jack the Dog (front)