Graham Martin - Founding Partner, Martin’s Lane Vineyard
Martin’s Lane Vineyard was the brainchild of Roy Martin who, until June 2023, was the driving force behind the operation. In 2008 Roy and a group of local neighbours in the area purchased farmland that had not been used since the late 1940’s. His vision was to plant a vineyard on this south and southwestern facing site to grow classic grape varieties. The vineyard occupies 30 acres on hillsides in the Crouch Valley and provides high quality fruit to a number of wine producers in the UK along with producing small batches of own label wines in selected years. Martin’s Lane Vineyard produces a range of 7 single estate wines – one sparkling Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Precoce, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs and Pinot Grigio
Originally Roy was advised that the site may not be a good place to grow grapes. However, it has become apparent over the last 15 years that the Crouch Valley is probably the best site in the country to grow grapes for still wine production. The combination of the proximity of the River Crouch, together with the London clay and low rainfall/number of sunshine hours, provides the perfect environment for nurturing top quality grapes with the high natural sugar levels and acidity required for still wine. Roy was a great ambassador and advocate for the Crouch Valley and believed in the quality of Martin’s Lane wines and recognising where they came from. To that end, he decided that their bottles would all carry the words Crouch Valley since their first wine in 2013. This practice has now been taken up by the vast majority of vineyards in the Crouch Valley region.
After Roy’s sudden death in June 2023 Graham Martin, a founding partner and Roy’s cousin, took over the reins of the business assisted by his wife Caroline.
Graham spent the first half of his career in marketing in the computer and telecommunications industry becoming Director of Corporate Communications at the multi-national telecoms company Nortel. He then ran a successful communications consultancy and production company devising, directing and producing international conferences, events and corporate videos. His roles have given him the opportunity to sample a large range of wines when travelling around the world and this, along with his sales and marketing experience, are becoming useful in his current role at Martin’s Lane. Together with his wife Caroline they run regular tours in the summer under the company name of Crouch Valley Wine Tours where they use Martin’s Lane for bespoke tasting tours. Caroline has a background in marketing and administration within the computing and PR segments and manages the administration of both Martin’s Lane Vineyard and Crouch Valley Wine Tours.
Roy built a reputation for Martin’s Lane in the industry as a supplier of high quality fruit and elegant own label wines. Graham and Caroline’s priorities are to maintain that position and to bring their wines to a wider audience.
To find out more on Martin's Lane English Wines click here.