Family Business of the YearBack to Winners
Sponsored by Gallagher Group
Biddenden Vineyards prides itself on being a family run business. The estate, which spans 23 acres, is managed by the second and third generation of the Barnes family.
Biddenden produces an array of white, rosé, red and sparkling English wines, and 11 different grape varieties are grown on site.
An array of ciders and juices are produced at the vineyard, crafted using the Barnes’ family recipe, which has been perfected over the last 40 years.
Managing director, Julian Barnes, who runs the site alongside wife Sally, and their children said; “We have seen turnover and profit increase over recent years, through having very good communication and strong family leadership.
“We have a clear vision for how the company is run. The ways in which we work give us a competitive advantage, as well as strength as a business.”
The business, which was Kent’s first commercial vineyard, also works closely with local charities and the surrounding community.
Biddenden Vineyards is open to the public throughout the year, with free admission and tastings. More in-depth tours are also available, to give customers an insight into the history of the vineyard, alongside the wine and cider making processes.
The company supports the local farming community by using Kent apples for juices and ciders, and purchases packaging in the county wherever possible, alongside hiring locally.
Julian added: “The business is like a wine list. There are things that you may love, but the final choice has to suit all at the table. By listening and allowing new ideas, the business has grown and developed, creating a place for each family member and ensuring
family ownership for another generation.”