Lawson Dry Hills

I can’t help thinking that Sion Barnsley, the general manager at LDH, seen below, is looking a little warily at that bottle of Syrah from a neighbouring winery. The issue may be the closure….


And we were late. But Sion was charming none the less, and took us into the cellar door to meet Marcus Wright, the wine maker, who ran through the tasting of their range of wines with immense care. See for details of the wines.

The team photo on their website sends a message that work is a good place to be…

Sion took us out to some of the vineyards, in a landscape that lives up to the winery’s name


It was good to meet Biddy, Sion’s wife when she came to join us in the restaurant, hot foot from one of her tractors – on this occasion she had been mowing grass between rows on the smaller of her vehicles. Her vineyards contribute grapes to the winery’s wines and though she was quite diffident about them it was clear that both of the Barnsleys are very proud of the winery and also their contribution to it.

It was interesting for us to hear Sion’s and Biddy’s recollections of working in London – in banking and fashion, respectively, before returning to Blenheim where Sion’s family come from, and renewing links with wine. It didn’t sound as if they missed the commuting or the rain or the poor light or mid twentieth century’s building styles..

We’re not surprised. Who wouldn’t want to live here, and work with grapes?

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