How did it all start?

Welcome to our first blog! 

We are on a mission here at English Vineyard Tours - to get you touring, tasting and ultimately buying the English wine produced on our doorstep, but how did it all start? 

In 2018 our founder, Clare de Brett, decided it was time for a change after 10+ years in the world of international events and hospitality. Situated in Haslemere on the borders of Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex she realised she found herself in wine country with a plethora of award winning vineyards dotted around producing exceptional still and sparkling wines. After attending tours during the summer months at vineyards throughout the three counties she decided it was something she wanted to pursue and became passionate about English wine. 

A quick search on the internet for 'jobs in wine' kept bringing up the same minimum requirement, qualifications in the subject. So, she found her pencil case, bought a note book and headed down to Plumpton Agricultural College to do her WSET Level 2, she was hooked and found herself back there in the Autumn doing WSET Level 3.

She spent a week contacting the smaller vineyards within an hour of Haslemere enquiring about any current vacancies or asking for work experience on site and kept getting the same feedback; 

  • We are a really small family run business and don't have any budget to hire anyone. 
  • We don't run tours because we don't have the capacity to staff them. 
  • We don't have the budget or admin resources to spend on marketing tours and tastings.

Safe to say she felt a little deflated by the feedback but that didn't last long as an email from Carolyn Butler at Trotton Estate Vineyards landed in her inbox saying pop along, let's have a chat. As Clare stood on the deck of their brand new wine hut taking in the inspiring views over their vineyards a plan started to form to offer a tours and tasting service to these boutique vineyards. A partnership was formed and the rest, as they say, is history. 

We hope to see you soon on one of our tours.