Chris Haywood is winemaker, sales, events and online manager at Astley Vineyard. He began his working life in the music industry, but transitioned to food and drink shortly after finishing a BA in Business Management & French at the University of Nottingham. His parents (and owners of the vineyard) say they first realised Chris's passion for food and drink when they took their 10 year old son to Nathan Outlaw's restaurant, where he enjoyed the full tasting menu and cheese course!
Chris's knowledge and understanding of wine blossomed during his time working at Harvey Nichol's Knightsbridge store where, within one year, he came close to becoming an assistant wine buyer at the company without any formal qualifications at the time. Thereafter he decided to pursue the opportunity of establishing a family business back in his home county of Worcestershire, and undertook WSET3 (Dist) and a winemaking course at Plumpton College.
Chris's approach to winemaking, business and life is one of passion, sharing and balance. Honesty is favoured over formality, and the drive to experiment and embrace the vineyard's boutique size are defining values of the business.
Despite the vineyard's tiny size (5 acres), Astley Vineyard's wines are served in several Michelin Starred restaurants all around the country.