How it all began.
As a young Surveyor I always wanted a vineyard when I retired . The vision dimmed as a career in Building and Civil Engineering flew by. Logistics eventually ruled out France, but my dream was fulfilled right under my nose.
Half an acre of land between our garden and the Royal Eastbourne Golf Course fell into disuse. My wife Pat gave no chance of success for my plan to buy it for a vineyard, but in February 2010, buy the adventure began.
My mother, a farmer’s daughter, kept hens and bees and made country wines from all manner of things. Some good, some bad, some clear, some sad: but we were never short of wine – even if of dubious quality. My life long interest in farming, the countryside, wine making and bees is fulfilling. Farmers are improvisors; thus some of my stunts in are probably genetically driven!
The beekeeping tent at the South of England Show rekindled an interest in these fascinating insects. I just needed a push; the newly acquired land had space for an apiary and a birthday present of a 10 week course in Beekeeping at Plumpton Agricultural College , sealed my destiny.
With the inspiration, help and patience of family, friends, vineyard owners and bee keepers, I have my own small slice of heaven and “the good life”. Our apiary and vineyard nestle in a combe of the South Downs alongside the 7th fairway of the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club. We have called it Compton Combe.
Where did ‘Bobsbuzz’ come from? The creative genii, are our elder son Gary, and Darryl Baldwin who lives in Piemonte. Darryl is passionate about wine and lives and moves amongst the cantinas of the finest producers of Barolo and Barbaresco and Barbera. Finding themselves snowbound when due in Rome for an England v Italy 6 Nations Rugby match, they hatched ideas for a website and a name.
‘Bobsbuzz’ – funky and I love it. It captures the buzz from creating an active, productive new episode of our lives; the warm buzz of ‘my girls’ on a summer’s day bringing back the nectar for our wonderful wild honey; the buzz of planting our own vines in 2011, of harvesting our grapes and making our own wine. The buzz we hope to create with an informative but light hearted exchange on what we are up to.