I’m in trouble as I should have written this blog last week! In fact, I feel a little bit like that all the time at the moment as there is just so much going on. I checked back and I think my last blog was in November, at harvest, and it’s made me reflect about what’s gone on in between.
Millie and I have been working hard on our label and foils. We designed our label almost 5 years ago now, but it needed refining and bringing ‘up to speed’ with our brand as it has developed. I can remember our first view of the proposed label all those years ago to which I said, ‘it’s not quirky enough’, it’s not ‘us’. There followed a long discussion with our designers (who if anything are accused of being too ’out there’ with their designs!) giving us sensible advice. We needed to have key indicators that we are a premium, sparkling wine. They were wise words, but I still needed quirky.
First of all we went to France to get our foils printed. Who knew it was such a task! We spent the entire day on the shop floor, working with committed people who wanted to get it just right. For example, we’d chosen our colour for our Blanc de Blancs but when the embossing went on, it changed its colour completely! Fortunately there was a very experienced colourist there, who worked out a colour that with the embossing, would be what we originally wanted. Exhausted, we got our two colours – the Blanc de Blancs and the Rosé. When we go back for our Blanc de Noirs and Cuvee, we’ve decided we’re going to stay on a day or two to recover!
Then we were off to Birmingham to get our labels printed. I have always known what I wanted in terms of texture and look, but oh it’s a craft. I have to admit that I cried when I saw the first batch and the owner said that had never happened. Anyway, I hope you all like the end result, which I know Mark is revealing bit by bit.
We’ve also been busy updating all our assets in time for the launch. By this I mean all our literature, website, stationery as well as writing new material such as wine information cards to go with the product photography that needed doing in between. (Mark and Millie have got really good at applying labels on the kitchen table as we haven’t labelled all the bottles yet.)
Then there is the launch itself, at Somerset House on 24th April. I am always reminded how lucky I am to have a great team behind me at times like this, who really take the strain and share the workload.
Finally, we’ve been working on our new-look Tasting Room to open in the summer. We’ll be offering tastings of all our wines and spirits, with the opportunity to buy from our cellar door. Alongside this we will be offering small seasonal dishes as well as a concise menu of starters, mains and desserts for which we recommend booking in advance. When it comes to our sparkling wines, we haven’t got a lot! It’s our first release and that’s just how it is. We’re going to have to limit sales to a bottle a head and when it’s gone, it’s gone. The good thing though is that next year we’ll have double the amount with the release of our Blanc de Noirs (I tasted it the other day and loved it) and more Rosé.