Why Robb would be an effective mentor
- Robb has a passion for the growing of quality grapes and the production of Quality Welsh Wine, and is now the Chairman of the Welsh Vineyard Association.
- With 30 years of experience in a performance driven industry, Robb has developed many skills including budget managing, understanding and setting targets, performance management, day to day HR management, coaching and training but above all, the need to listen.
- Robb has transferred his skills into everyday business life and is adamant that they were vital in setting up White Castle Vineyard.
- Over the past 8 years Robb has gained a lot of practical experience from the initial site evaluation, setting up of the vineyard through to marketing and selling the wines.
- Robb is keen to use his skills in a constructive way to improve understanding, confidence & performance and allow people to make their own balanced decisions
Current farm business
- 17 acres of land owned,
- Presently 5000 vines planted
- 5 acre vineyard that is now one of Wales’s premier wine producers
- Robb works fulltime in the vineyard and is supported by his wife Nicola who works part time
- A restored 16th Century barn that is used for large group events and education for viticulture
- Converted a barn into a cellar door/shop that is open every Friday- Sunday & bank holidays for food and wine tasting
- Most of the work is done by Robb and his wife, but they do hire local labour at peak times
- A CL caravan site
Qualifications/ achievements/ experience
- 1980 to 1985 Agricultural contractor
- 1985 to 1994: Worked as a postman
- 1995 to 2014: Unit manager/cluster manager for Royal Mail
- 2010-2012: Various Wine-skills courses around the south of the UK
- 2009: Plumpton College, intense vineyard management course
- 2009: Present vineyard owner growing grapes, producing and selling wine
- 2016: Gold Award for the Best White Wine, Welsh Vineyard Awards
- 2017 - 2018: Bronze & Silver Awards for Red, White and Rosé Wines, Wine GB Awards
- 2018: 2 Silver & 4 Bronze Awards, Welsh Vineyards Association Wine Competition
- 2021: Gold Medal, Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA)
- Chairman of the Welsh Wine Association
- 2021: Silver Award, International Wine Challenge (IWC)
- 2021: Bronze Award for Red Wine, Wine GB Awards
- 2021: Silver Award for Rosé and Red Wines, Wine GB Awards
TIPS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
"You’ve got to be able to accept making changes to improve your business."
"Planning & preparation are key to managing change."
"Always admit when things go wrong and learn from any mistakes. Failure is when you stop trying, not when you don’t succeed."
"A positive outlook is important so always try to seek the best in someone or the situation."