The owners of Holmfirth Vineyard have bought a second Yorkshire vineyard in a £1.5m investment to boost their re-branded wine.
Just 12 months ago Becky and Ian Sheveling were on the verge of going out of business after a fire left their premises and dreams in ruins.
But with support from Swedish bank Handelsbanken the couple have created a new restaurant, a revamped winery and space for conferences and weddings along with self-catering apartments.
And they have a new brand, Sheveling Wine Estate, which recognises their decision to buy land near Whitby for a new vineyard where they have planted 19,000 vines.
Becky, 45, said that during a lot of “tears and tantrums” following the fire they had even considered giving up their dream of running a vineyard.
Instead, they decided to rebuild and expand the business, branching out into weddings and taking on more staff, taking the payroll from 18 to 28 employees.
Already six couples are due to tie the knot at the hillside venue next summer and a wedding fayre is being planned for February 17 and 18.
“We are trying to take everything to the next level,” said Becky.
“After the fire we could have rolled over and cried but we decided to take the hardest option which was to rebuild something three times bigger.”
Since the fire they have spent around £1m rebuilding the business and the Whitby vineyard represents an investment of £1.5m over the next three years. Plans to develop a third Yorkshire vineyard are in the pipeline.
Ian, 44, said that without their bank they couldn’t have bounced back.
“The bank has been very helpful,” he said. “They backed us and we couldn’t have done it without them.”
The couple are particularly proud of the Solaris suite which can accommodate 100 day guests and up to 140 evening guests. It has extensive views across the Holme Valley and couples can have their wedding blessing on a piece of land among the vines.
Becky, a former Formula One engineer, said: “Couples will be able to walk down the vineyard with bows on the vines and get married on the mound with views across the valley.”
The business, which opened in 2008, is continuing to host the popular wine tasting tours which take place twice a day. Visitors from across the world have visited the vineyard for the experience.
The Shevelings are assisted by their seven-year-old son Luca who helps out with the wine tours.
“He does the tours and helps out with serving the afternoon tea,” says Becky.
“Luca stands in the winery and explains how things work. We are really proud of him.”
She said the new facilities were better for staff and customers.
“It has been tough and we had lots of tears and tantrums. Holmfirth Vineyard is now a bigger and better experience for customers now that we have upgraded everything.”