a drop of the good stuff

Burn Valley Vineyard in North Creake is a family run vineyard, producing a range of wines to appeal to every palette. Founded in 2016 and managed by Laura Robinson and her sister, Samantha, the award-winning Burn Valley wines are available to enjoy every weekend in a wine tasting held at their beautiful farm in North Norfolk. Laura speaks to nourish magazine to tell us more.

We have lived here since 1989, when we moved as a family to Crossways Farm in North Creake. With our brother Jack, we were young children at that time. We loved living by the coast and growing up on this amazing farm, where our father, John, grew many local crops such as cereals and sugar beet, as well as rearing sheep. Our childhood days were rich and filled with adventure.

As we grew, we all pursued different paths: Jack went to agricultural college and is now running the farm; Sam loved language and spent five years teaching English in Vietnam and Sardinia; and I worked in forensic science before meeting my partner, Steve, who is a great chef. Since being together, we have worked in Norway and Austria, where Steve worked for amazing restaurants and caterers.

Just as so many before, we all returned to Norfolk – Steve and I in 2013 to start a new life with our family, and Sam also returned. That year, our father John suggested the idea of a family vineyard, and with Steve and I already running Burn Valley Catering, it seemed like a great fit. After a great deal of research and site testing/appraisal, we got the go ahead, with me heading off to the UK Wine Centre at Plumpton to go on an intensive vine-growing and winemaking courses. I have passed WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) Levels 1, 2 and 3, and Sam has completed the first two levels.

Since those early days after planting in 2016, Burn Valley Vineyard has grown. Much of this has been to do with the local support of our regional organisation WineGB East, of which I’m now Chair. We have also been honoured with many awards for the wines we grow here.

We have nine different grape varieties – Early pinot, rondo, regent, and Pinot Noir in the reds, and Bacchus, Chardonnay, Solaris, Seyval blanc, and Schönburger for the whites. From these grapes, we have produced red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines.

As well as tasting these at farmers’ markets around Norfolk, you can also come to Burn Valley and enjoy them in our outdoor marquee that looks across the fields. It is a lovely site, and we offer tastings of up to six Burn Valley wines every Thursday through to Sunday, at either 11am or 2pm, and these include an optional platter at every tasting apart from Sunday.

Currently, the tour starts with a full size glass of our Burn Valley Classic, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method, and 50% chardonnay, 50% pinot noir. This is the perfect opening drink, and it sets the tone for the tasting as we go through our range, giving a deep insight into our winemaking process from soil to bottle. Alongside, you can order one of Steve’s amazing platters, full of seafood, charcuterie, homemade breads, oils, and olives. The platter boards themselves are made on
site by our winemaker, Matt Abbey, from old wine barrels – nothing is wasted here.

The tasting lasts around two hours and is a great way to get an insight into life in a winery. We also hold not-so-secret secret suppers, and special food themed nights. There is always something going on, so why don’t you come on up and try the current Burn Valley vintage selection for yourselves? 

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