It must be a daydream of many people in the UK to own a vineyard somewhere sunny, particularly when the rain is pelting down outside. The ideal of lounging around on the porch, watching the grapes slowly ripen in the fields around you. The occasional family and friends to come and admire your small-holding. Definitely a small swimming pool attached to the side of the house. How hard can it be to run a vineyard? I had a friend from Aberdeen who took this leap & sold up & moved to the Ventoux in the Southern Rhone in France. He ploughed his (& quite a lot of his family’s) money into the property. He got quite a good deal on it, or so he thought. The house had a fantastic view across the valley & all his vineyards (about 10 acres) surrounded the house. He knew his daily commute would never be more than about 500 yards walk in the sunshine. There was even the delightful infinity pool to relax in after work. Everything was going swimmingly – if you pardon the pun – until the first summer came & he started work in the vineyard. He soon realised why the locals were getting up at 6am, as the temperatures during the day were scorching, far too hot too work. They went home for long lunches because they had to, not through choice. It also involved working in the evening until the light faded. Exhausted, he would come back to the house too tired to partake of the pool. Which he soon discovered was gradually sliding down the hill (the cracks had been plastered over by the previous owner). I went & stayed a week-end with him once. All I can remember was how hot, sweaty, fly-ridden & thirsty I was all day in the vineyard. No matter how much wine I drank I couldn’t cure my back-ache. I did try though. So, this article may sound a little sobering – pun again – but if you want to live the dream in a vineyard, it ain’t no holiday for sure. This is all before you even try to sell your wine to someone who will never give you as much money for it as you would like or deserve. Wine is only glamorous from the perspective of the consumer. To be fair I love sun, wine, wine regions & love vineyards – when viewed from a distance. Would I want to work in a vineyard? Not on your Nellie.

It must be a daydream of many people in the UK to own a vineyard somewhere sunny, particularly when the rain is pelting down outside. The ideal of lounging around on the porch, watching the grapes slowly ripen in the fields around you. The occasional family and friends to come and admire your small-holding. Definitely a small swimming pool attached to the side of the house. How hard can it be to run a vineyard? I had a friend from Aberdeen who took this leap & sold up & moved to the Ventoux in the Southern Rhone in France. He ploughed his (& quite a lot of his family’s) money into the property. He got quite a good deal on it, or so he thought. The house had a fantastic view across the valley & all his vineyards (about 10 acres) surrounded the house. He knew his daily commute would never be more than about 500 yards walk in the sunshine. There was even the delightful infinity pool to relax in after work. Everything was going swimmingly – if you pardon the pun – until the first summer came & he started work in the vineyard. He soon realised why the locals were getting up at 6am, as the temperatures during the day were scorching, far too hot too work. They went home for long lunches because they had to, not through choice. It also involved working in the evening until the light faded. Exhausted, he would come back to the house too tired to partake of the pool. Which he soon discovered was gradually sliding down the hill (the cracks had been plastered over by the previous owner). I went & stayed a week-end with him once. All I can remember was how hot, sweaty, fly-ridden & thirsty I was all day in the vineyard. No matter how much wine I drank I couldn’t cure my back-ache. I did try though. So, this article may sound a little sobering – pun again – but if you want to live the dream in a vineyard, it ain’t no holiday for sure. This is all before you even try to sell your wine to someone who will never give you as much money for it as you would like or deserve. Wine is only glamorous from the perspective of the consumer. To be fair I love sun, wine, wine regions & love vineyards – when viewed from a distance. Would I want to work in a vineyard? Not on your Nellie.

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