Wickham Vineyard re-opens after going into administration
One of the UK's leading wineries, Wickham Vineyard in Hampshire has re-opened after going into administration last December.
Five of the original management team have organised a buyout of the business and have taken over sales and production as well as the Vineyard Restaurant which also closed.
Wickham Wine Estates Ltd, the new company, is headed by Director Wilhelm Mead with Jonathan Rogers, who was the Estate Manager looking after Sales and Marketing, Julien Miran looking after the production, Paulo Silva dealing with IT and Paul Dive returning as Restaurant manager and chef. The company has also taken on Jessica Mead to look after Weddings and Events.
Jonathan Rogers said 'There are a few of us who actually care about this vineyard and we could not let it just fall apart, especially when we know how good it can be, even supplying wine for the Queen at a Jubilee lunch celebration last year. It's going to be very hard work as we have half the numbers of staff we used to have, but we are all prepared to put the time and effort into making it the success it was. We all have our roles to play but it also means that everyone will be doing a bit of everything.'
The vineyard went into administration last December due to the over ambitious purchase of 15 ex Thresher wine shops two years ago, which were rebranded as WineShak. The vineyard had to support WineShak as they fell further into trouble, plus having to deal with an extremely poor harvest in 2012.
The WineShak shops are NOT part of the buyout and have been liquidated.
'We know the vineyard can support itself as it has before. We have some major plans to turn the vineyard into a major tourist attraction as well as producing award winning wines as we have done for many years' Jonathan added. 'We are changing the concept of the restaurant slightly by having a Tea Room serving light lunches during the day with a semi fine dining restaurant in the evenings', he added. 'We want to attract a far wider clientele to the vineyard where people can just relax during the day soaking up the beautiful surroundings over a coffee, cup of tea or glass of wine. It's a beautiful place and we are all proud at what we have here. It should be enjoyed by everyone'.
The vineyard will continue to offer room hire facilities, guided and audio tours, wine courses and corporate events. Weddings will also feature heavily with the new company.