Chris Haywood is Astley Vineyard’s winemaker and sales manager. In 5 short years, he has progressed from wine drinker, to a member of the knowledgeable wineshop staff at Harvey Nichols, qualifing in WSET 3 (Dist) & Plumpton College, and is now a boutique winemaker.
Innovation and instilling passion amongst the vineyard’s customers are prized above size and formality at Astley Vineyard. As one of the oldest vineyards in the country (est. 1971) Chris is keen to embrace Astley’s traditional, and sometimes uncommon grape varieties in their wine range. Astley’s signature grape variety is Kerner, a cross of Riesling of Trollinger, which makes a variety of still wines, sparkling wines, and even a skin contact natural wine.
Chris and the family are keen to stay small and master their boutique business. Since acquiring the vineyard in 2017, the family have built a winery, a brand new shop, rebranded the business, and introduced acclaimed vineyard tours and events. Still only three and a half years into their time at the vineyard, it is there hope that Astley will remain exciting and loved for many decades to come.