Melbury Vale farm was purchased in December 2003, by sister and brother, Clare and Glynn as 28 acres of derelict farmland and buildings, formerly part of Barfoot Farm, near to Melbury Mill and Cann Mill. They have lovingly converted the older farm buildings and restored the land into agricultural use with much determination, hard work, help and support from friends and family, to make it a thriving business.
The vineyard was manually planted in 2006 with family and friends who volunteered to help. Clare’s vision to build the winery followed later, after the first wine produced won a silver medal. The winery was nominated for a design award for its clever use of the rolling hillside terrain and won government rural development funding for it’s sustainable features.
Clare, winemaker and distiller, now runs the winery and vineyard business, that has evolved over 18 years. This also includes a small cider orchard and 3 giant timber barrels for private glamping groups at the winery for up to just 6 people; keeping the experience exclusive. Perfect for those small groups of friends and family that want to get together for a relaxed and peaceful break with all the facilities to themselves.
The views over the rolling, green Melbury hillside, along the Stirkel Valley and up to the Melbury Vale vineyard are stunning, as are the sunrises, sunsets and the wide range of wildlfe that regularly visit us.
Situated on the edge of the Dorset ‘Dark Skies’, star gazing on a clear night is a must, whilst listening to the river running in the valley below and sipping an Aromatised wine or a glass of something chilled from the Melbury Vale range.
The on-site winery was completed and in production for 2013. It is built into the hillside with a number of sustainable design features; including wild flower meadow roof and rain water harvesting.
Whilst constructed by a local building firm, part of its fit out was undertaken through a Prisoner Rehabilitation scheme that Clare helped to set up, originally to help with managing the vineyard. For those with skills in various trades that helped, employment references and work portfolios were provided for when they returned to work.
Enquiries for new vineyards planted in the area have been numerous, with 1,000s of new vines already planted locally in response to the winery appearing and more still being planted nearby today.
Melbury Vale now also distils its own wine and makes liqueurs, brandy and aromatised wines – our unique blends, ready to drink, for any occasion!