Claire Coutinho, MP for East Surrey, today welcomed the efforts of Godstone Vineyards as the local winemaker bounces back from lockdown.
Based at the foot of the gently sloping North Downs Way Godstone Vineyards produces bespoke Sparking Wines made exclusively from hand-picked grapes grown at Godstone Vineyards.
The vineyard has implemented several new safety measures to protect staff and customers. These include the introduction of clear social distancing in the shop and queue. Alfresco eating and drinking will be available on their terrace and grassed areas once Government hospitality restrictions ease.
Claire Coutinho, MP for East Surrey, said: “I would like to toast the efforts of Godstone Vineyards to get up and running again, not to mention their fantastic sparkling wine. I very much look forward to Government hospitality restrictions easing to come and enjoy some of their delicious food surrounded by the beautiful Surrey countryside.
“Small businesses are the financial pillars of our local community and the lifeblood of our national economy. The past few months have been an extremely tough time and I am delighted to support a local business that is ready to lead Surrey’s economic Bounceback.”
Jonathan Deeley, Partner at Godstone Vineyards commented: “We were delighted to welcome Claire to our vineyard. In her relatively short time as our local MP she has already demonstrated her proactive commitment to local businesses such as our own.
“In 35 years of growing grapes at Godstone we have had to contend with flooding, drought, late frosts, pests and diseases, but never before a devastating pandemic. In mid-March we were only halfway through our winter pruning, which is the main annual task for any vineyard. Thanks to our loyal team of ten part-time staff we were able to complete both the pruning and tying down of fruiting canes on time. We even managed to introduce social distancing to the pruning system for the first time ever!
“By the middle of May we were able to reopen under our off licence offering a safe and friendly wine collection service, which has proved extremely popular with our wonderful customers, many of whom told us how much they appreciated being able to cheer themselves up after two months of lockdown with a glass of Sparkling Wine!
“I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the hardworking staff at Tandridge District Council. I have received their email updates for businesses on a daily basis throughout the pandemic and their advice and supply of information has been invaluable.”