Express & Star

Family take over Worcestershire vineyard

The former finance chief at an international construction group and his wife have swapped their lifestyle to take on a Worcestershire vineyard.

Tim Haywood, Tim Edwards, Nick O’Hara

Now Tim and Bev Haywood have recruited the rest of their family to join them after striking a corking deal for Astley Vineyard, in Stourport-on-Severn.

The vineyard was first established in 1971 and taken over by Jonty Daniels in 1993. He was now sold the land and business to the Haywoods who say they want to take the vineyard 'to the next level'.

The new team in charge includes Tim and Bev, son and daughter-in-law Chris and Matleena and daughter Daisy.

Mr Haywood was recently announced as Prince Charles Ambassador to the West Midlands, as part of the Business in the Community Responsible Business initiative.

He retired recently as group finance director and head of sustainability at global construction and facilities conglomerate Interserve.

He said: “We have ambitious plans for the future of Astley Vineyard- there is a lot of potential for developing the vineyard which has been producing award-winning wine for over 40 years. We know Thursfields will be there for us on our exciting adventure."

The vineyard is classed as a boutique producer with just under five acres under vine. Astley’s focus over the years has concentrated on white wines and the business also produces a sparkling wine made from its unique 40-year-old Kerner vine, and a Late Harvest wine.

Also raising a toast to the intrepid Haywood family are solicitors from Worcester law firm Thursfields, who helped with the takeover deal.

Mr Haywood said: "The purchase of Astley Vineyard was a brave step for my family. We are not from an agricultural background so we needed some professional and local advice to make sure the transaction went smoothly."

“The team at Thursfields were most supportive, and we had complete confidence in them all the way through the legal process.”

The advising Thursfields team included associate solicitor Katie Williams, senior associate solicitor Tim Edwards and managing director Nick O’Hara.

Katie Williams said: “The deal required input from several disciplines. Nick O’Hara and I advised on the property content of the transaction, Tim Edwards provided business advice and support.”