Shropshire Vineyard under new ownership

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After more than 10 years of award-winning wine production, Kerry Vale Vineyard has new owners after being sold by the Ferguson family.

Janet and Russell Cooke, Owners of Kerry Vale Vineyard
Janet and Russell Cooke, Owners of Kerry Vale Vineyard

Kerry Vale Vineyard, set up by Geoff and June Ferguson as a family business in 2010 has gone from strength to strength since its planting. Over the last 10 years it has won multiple National and International awards for its wine and its excellent customer service, as well as the cafes locally sourced food and homemade cakes. It has even featured on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV, bringing Shropshire’s wine scene into the spotlight!

In February, a decade after it was established, Owner Geoff Ferguson decided to pass over the baton to wine enthusiasts Russell and Janet Cooke, who have relocated from the USA to take on the vineyard and embark on this exciting life change. “After a number of years working overseas we are delighted to be back in the UK” remarked Russell.

The Cookes are no novices to the culture.  Throughout their careers Russell and Jan have often found themselves living in the lesser known, but nevertheless popular, wine making regions.   Russell comments “One of the favourite places we lived was Vienna, which is surprisingly richly populated with vineyards, but whose wine is rarely exported. The ‘Heuriger’ culture enjoyed in Vienna (which sees family and friends relishing the local wine with simple local food) would be great to replicate here in Shropshire.   

He went on to say “Our last four years were spent living in New York, which surprisingly has over 50 vineyards on the East of Long Island.  Jan and I are both really excited to be joining the UK Wine Industry as it continues to grow”.

Kerry Vale Vineyard will continue to run its busy café and provide vineyard tours weekly. The new owners are keen to promote consistency and hope to build on the venues trusted reputation by retaining existing staff. Nadine Roach the daughter of founders Geoff and June Ferguson has worked in the vineyard for a number of years and will continue to lead the Marketing and PR. Geoff has also agreed to take on a consultancy role to provide continuity and guidance to the new owners.

New Owner Jan, who will manage the café, explains “Building on the success of the past will be crucial, and we are thrilled that the vineyard’s experienced team will be with us on this journey.  We very much hope that existing customers continue to enjoy our wine and cafe and we look forward to working with local businesses and suppliers as we plan our future.”

The new owners would like to see more weddings being toasted with English Sparkling wine. As consumers become more aware of the negative environmental impact of importing consumables, Kerry Vale Vineyard aim to promote the ‘buy local’ philosophy. So, if you’re from Shropshire or are getting married in Shropshire why not consider toasting with a glass of Shropshire’s own English sparkling wine! The vineyard café and shop will reopen on Thursday 26 March and would like to welcome both existing and new customers to visit and meet the new owners. 

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