Our long awaited series to highlight the producers of some of the fine products we serve in the bar is finally here and just in time for International Women’s Day, we are featuring Ingrid from Dunleavy Vineyards who produce our excellent Rose, though it won’t be back in stock until April.
Name: Ingrid Bates
Pets: A dog, 2 tree frogs and a rabbit.
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do
I live in central Bristol but grow grapes just outside the city and make lovely wine that is sold across the UK.
How long have you been doing this job?
I’ve been selling my own wine for around 11 years but looked after other people’s vineyards as a job before I set up my own business
Tell us a bit more about your product, are there any you’ve developed yourself?
My main product is a still rosé – Pinot noir used to be the main constituent grape but we’ve switched to varieties that are more easy to grow organically now. We also make an unusual sparkling red and of course we make sparkling white too!
What’s the best thing that has ever happened whilst you’ve been working in this industry?
It’s always nice to get National Press reviews about the things you produce but the nicest things are actually the every day little interactions I have with customers (individuals, restaurant and shop owners) when I’m delivering wine – it’s pretty much always a very uplifting experience and I often come away from my quick chats with some interesting little bit of news or information.
I ran a successful crowdfunding campaign in October 2021 to raise funds to buy some land because I’ve always rented. This was hard work but was also a very positive experience – seeing how much people wanted me to do well and reading their nice comments on the crowdfunder page.
Tell us the worst thing about working in this business
Sometimes having to work in very cold or wet weather! Weirdly, spending a day in the cold and wet can make you feel very good… you’ve survived the elements and can look forward to a nice cup of tea in front of the fire when you get home.
Did you do a job before this one?
I worked for a couple of years in wildlife TV when I first left university years ago (approx 2001)… that’s what brought me to Bristol. I also worked as a gardener and general dogs body for years while first getting into vineyard work.
What’s the funniest thing which has ever happened to you on a work day?
So many silly things seem to happen I wouldn’t know where to begin!
Do you have any hobbies?
I like the natural world, insects, wildlife, design and music! I like to see live music and love supporting the live scene we have in Bristol…
If you work with other people, what do you do to gel together as a team? OR If you work on your own, what is it that inspires you each day?
I have some regular volunteers in the vineyard – we get along well and have quite a giggle. I think that doing repetitive work lends itself to allowing good chats while you work so we learn quite a lot about each others we move around the vines – like a therapy session!
I try to be inspired by all little things I see around me every day, the minutia – I’m not one to take life for granted. I spend a lot of time working on my own so often end up talking to the dog or myself or listening to music or desert island discs. I find other people and the lives they’ve led so interesting. We’re all similar yet so very different at the same time.
Have you got any final words of wisdom to someone thinking of starting up in this industry?
Hmmmm… I’m not sure. Maybe just to try and be positive and give things a go.
What are your favourite products on your website right now?
Our new rosé and a new batch of our sparkling white will be released some time in April but we’ve got our award winning sparkling red available at the mo. It’s really easy to pair with food and is a really fun thing to try because most people aren’t sure what to expect.