Having a Dream is one thing. Waking up, rubbing the sleep from your eyes and making it happen is something else entirely. Indeed when Duncan and Barry first discussed the possibility of setting up a vineyard in Derbyshire, you could have been forgiven for thinking that they’d over-indulged in a glass or two of the good stuff themselves.
Something is awakening in the Amber Valley. From humble beginnings, something mighty is growing forth from the soil. Duncan and Barry toured much of the planet and tasted some of the best wines available upon it. They sampled the finest examples available in Australia’s Hunter Valley, and savoured the best vintages on offer from both Bordeaux’s St. Emillion and the beautiful Languedoc region while in France. And yet it was in the earth of their own Derbyshire back gardens that the Dream was born. Through hard-work and obsessive persistence they grew, nurtured and developed those first tiny vines, taking the Dream onwards, upwards and beyond the back fence. And now they are planting their first major vineyard.
Why the Amber Valley?
To answer this question, you only need to take a look for yourself to see that the Amber Valley is the perfect place to bring the Dream to life. Duncan and Barry firmly believe that it offers the best wine growing conditions in the north of England – and it’s hard to disagree when presented with the facts.
The Amber Valley is an English gem, tucked as it is into the folds of the hills in the southern valleys of the romantic and dramatic Peak country of Derbyshire. With the Derwent valley to the south, the land eventually falls away to the broad Trent Valley plain before rolling onwards to form the warm, dry, flat counties of eastern England. Beyond that lies the blue expanse of the North Sea, and Europe.
To the north and west of the Amber Valley the Pennines rise mightily along with the rugged Peak District to capture the rains that blow in from the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea, creating a protective barrier and taking the edge off the excessive warm rains and accompanying winds. Geography, climate and landscape combine to create the perfect wine-growing location.
The journey moves on apace, and the Dream grows clearer with each passing day. Join Amber Valley Wines and be part of a very English success story.
AMBER VALLEY WINES – “The Dream is Coming True!”
Barry holds an MA in Archaeology and Heritage and BA(Hons) degree in Environment and Archaeology and spent nearly 20 years working as an archaeologist. Truly a son of the soil, and now an experienced viticulturist, Barry, manages all the vineyard activities and work programmes to ensure we can grow the very best vines and produce the finest grapes that we can.
Barry is also a local councillor and used to be the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Vineyards Association, now known as Wine GB, which is the national body for vinegrowers and winemakers in the UK. He has also authored a couple of books, lots of articles and academic journal contributions. With his wife, Katharine, he also owns and manages a couple of holiday cottages and an orchard of local and cider apple trees. He still tries to keep his links in the fields of heritage and archaeology.
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