West Fisher Winery needs a new home!

by Simon Fisher in Westerham, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 30th June 2021 we successfully raised £300 with 8 supporters in 56 days

Having battled through a recession, a difficult refit of a derelict building, a forced relocation and Covid19 West Fisher needs a new home!

by Simon Fisher in Westerham, England, United Kingdom

We plan to take this unloved but beautiful building & turn it into a first class English wine production & visitor centre.

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West Fisher has been the life & passion for my wife & I for almost 13 years now, we want to continue in this incredible industry and grow into the venue we know we can be. 

Born in 2009 we moved onto Skid Hill Farm back in April 2012, we invested almost 9 years of our lives (not to mention a lot of our own money) on a near derelict building, transforming it into a fantastic venue and winery. Sadly back in September 2020 we were asked to leave with little or no explanation, that hurt. We invested heavily during lockdown to improve the premises on the promise of a new lease, this promise was broken. 1619867274_img_20200220_161731.jpg

This is what our tasting room used to  look like.1619867398_img_20210407_123347.jpg

Sadly this is what it looks like now!

What does this mean? Sadly West Fisher is now homeless and working out of temporary storage in the back end of a shop unit near our home in Warlingham, Surrey (it's like 2009 all over again!). We no longer have a premises license so have no online shop presence and only a handful of markets left. This can only go on for a few months or we will lose all of our grape contracts for 2021, that means no wine for 2022 so realistically no West Fisher!

So why Westwood Farm Barn? The building has incredible character, a large area for customer parking, it's own entrance and it is very close to the A25 in Westerham. The landlord is reasonable and open to ideas, Clacket lane services are only 1 minutes drive away and the A25 just 300 yards away!

What are o1620079335_img_20210420_181805.jpgur goals? To improve the building, make it into a usable space for production at ground floor with a character tasting room upstairs. Eventually we hope to open up the outside as well and to expand into storage containers for more contract wine production. It may be possible to expand the barn in later years but that is something we will explore at another time.

What are the pitfalls? It is an old building and it will need extensive alterations, that costs money. The yard and access need a lot of improvements and there's no drainage on site, a further expense.

Can it be d1620079402_img_20210502_121924.jpgone? Yep, absolutely! The vision is there, the potential is there, the expertise is there and we have the track record to make it work. We have the experience, we have the equipment, we have the knowledge, we have the contacts, we have the contracts as well as a proven long standing relationship with Groupon, Wowcher & BuyaGift, not to mention our lovely and loyal customers. we lack only one thing, err, a building?

So what are the works we need to do? It is a long list.

Rewire the entire building, put in new gates and improve the access, fit new doors, locks & security systems, fit 3 roof light windows, fit a new staircase, put in a new wire fence and plant some vines as a hedge, install a large area of concrete hard standing to accommodate 2 containers with some steps and ramped access to the winery, put in reclaimed pallet fencing around the containers, line the entire building internally with 9mm structural ply, install additional windows overlooking the parking area & yard, fit a new bar, kitchen, toilets & drainage which also includes a sewage treatment plant as the nearest drainage is half a mile away. That about covers it, we hope.

There are some structural alterations that will need undertaking but that we can handle. We have about half of the money we need but no buffer zone or safety net. We know the business model works, we were holding our own through Covid even expanding our equipment and online sales by almost 40%, we have contracts lined up to produce wine for other growers so there is a revenue stream waiting, plus we have a proven track record with Groupon and drop in customers alike, we know we can make it work but we are realistic enough to know we need some help. 

That, we hope, is where you come in.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Just a fan

Want to support a small local business without any pomp or ceremony? We really would appreciate the support

£20 or more

2 of 100 claimed

Wine tasting for two

Receive a voucher to sample up to 6 wines with a complimentary cheese & biscuit platter, valid for 12 months.

£20 or more

Custom West Fisher polo shirt

Receive a custom embroidered West Fisher polo shirt, available in White, Black, Grey, Red, Yellow & Blue, in sizes S/M/L/XL & XXL. Please specify your colour choice when ordering.

£25 or more

25% discount card

For just £25 you get a 25% discount card valid on all purchases, be it in house, at farmers markets, shows or online via our shop. Valid for 12 months

£30 or more

1 of 50 claimed

Receive a bottle from the upcoming 2021 harvest

We will send you a bottle of red, white or rose wine from the 2021 harvest (please let us know your preference) and we will make sure you receive it before Christmas

£40 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Wine tasting for four

You will receive a voucher for a wine tasting for four people, valid for 12 months. Taste any 6 wines with a complimentary cheese & biscuit platter

£50 or more

1 of 50 claimed

Wine tasting for two with a pizza lunch to follow

Enjoy a wine tasting of any 6 wines with a complimentary cheese & biscuit platter followed by a pizza lunch. Voucher valid for 12 months

£75 or more

0 of 25 claimed

The Romantic One!

This is a limited & exclusive voucher for an intimate wine tasting for two people, only 25 available. A private table in a secluded corner, candles, roses, a welcoming glass of English fizz on arrival. Taste any 6 wines you like while sharing a selection of nibbles and only be disturbed when you want to be, a small hand bell will let us know when you need our attention. Voucher is valid for 12 months.

£100 or more

1 of 50 claimed

Mixed case of 6 wines

We will send you a mixed case of 6 English wines from the 2021 harvest, consisting of 2 red, 3 white & 1 rose wines. These will be delivered before Christmas 2021 so you can enjoy them on the day or share the love.

£125 or more

0 of 25 claimed

Birthday bash!

A very exclusive voucher for a special wine tasting for the birthday boy or girl and 5 guests. Enjoy a wine tasting of any 6 wines with a mixed platter of cheese & biscuits and a charcuterie board with a bottle of quality English Fizz to share after. We'll even throw in some balloons! Voucher is valid for 12 months.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

Private Party

Take the bar for the evening with up to 14 other guests and a £250 pre paid bar bill on us, we'll throw in a buffet too.

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