Fred Langdale - Frost protection and post frost care in cool climate viticulture.
I grew up on a small holding farm near Godalming, Surrey and I have always had an interest in farming. It wasn’t until 2001 when I had the opportunity to work in New Zealand that my interest in viticulture was triggered. On my return to the UK I enrolled into Plumpton College, to pursue a better knowledge of viticulture. During the course I worked for an organic vineyard and winery near Tonbridge Wells. In 2005 I leapt at the chance to travel to South Africa to work at a vineyard near Stellenbosch, I was able to stay for a whole year and witnessed the vineyard’s complete seasonal cycle. On my return to the UK I worked at one of the UK’s largest vineyards supervising the establishment of an 80 acre vineyard in West Sussex. After 2 years in that role I started to think of my next step and the opportunity of managing Exton Park Vineyard then arose.
It all started on the 1st of May 2008, at the time it was a 10 acre vineyard where I was the only employee and we sold our fruit to other wineries. Moving on 11 years, we now have 60 acres under vine, our own winery, an established wine brand with 10 employees and I am now a partner in this very exciting and growing business.
Out of work, my wife and I try to control our 5 and 3 year old boys. We all enjoy and get involved in various country sports. We are kept fit by our two dogs and enjoy getting involved in various local events and activities.
I’m very grateful to the John Oldacre Foundation for their sponsorship, to Malcolm Isaac for his encouragement as my employer, to my family and wife for their continuous help and support.