Lurgashall Winery is History Now
Lurgashall Winery was created in a complex of 17th-century farm buildings that my Dad project managed the building of at our 38.5 acre estate near Lurgashall village near Haslemere.
My father Professor Jerome Schooler set up the Lurgashall Winery in 1985, after purchasing Malmesbury Mead and Wine Company and Davis Wines. It was a family-run business specialising in fruit wines, meads and liqueurs. And over the years we had the pleasure to meet and work with so many amazing people.
State of the art facilities
Inside our state of the art facilities, we used to produce around 400,000 bottles per year and it was self-contained with fermentation, maturation and bottling vats, and modern, high-quality equipment in a sterile bottling room and fully equipped laboratory – all elements of the process that were learned about when taking the tour around the facility, on occasion I would do these myself.
It was so much fun seeing the business grow and when we ran out of space we just built more buildings as we had a whole team of epic people working for us with the skills to solve any problem.
Lurgashall Winery history
Lurgashall winery came a long way since it began production in 1985 and produced a thousand bottles. My father Professor Jerome P. Schooler created his dream of Lurgashall Winery, which was based in deepest darkest West Sussex and whilst it looked rustic from the outside we had state of the art equipment which was used to ferment real fruits, flowers, vegetables and honey.
He created the Lurgashall Mead from his thoughts of exporting to his homeland. His theory was if Americans had read Beowolf and loved the English then they would buy English Mead.
We never paid for press releases
We would have plenty of press releases and many people would review us online.
I have fond memories of a page three girl coming to the winery to take a picture of us, as my Dad had a Windfall in Windfallwood and they were running a story on Windfalls. There were lots of fake £50 notes. It was highly amusing and something you don’t forget in a hurry.
Lurgashall Winery Shop
People would travel from many miles away to visit our shop as online ordering wasn’t big for us at that time.
Lurgashall Winery Produced Mead, Liqueurs and Fruit Wines
We produced 7 meads, nine fruit liqueurs and nine fruit wines, including the delicate Rose Petal Wine (which was sold in Mitsukoshi department stores in Japan); we also used to supply the most prestigious restaurants in New York and other prestigious venues like the Tower of London and Windsor Farm Shop.
Silver Birch Wine – Made From Sap And Lots Of Sugar For Alcohol!
The Silver Birch Wine was not personally to my taste although it went with blue cheese as my Dad reminded me on occasion. I remember taking it to a fine wine merchant in Kent somewhere and the owner turned his nose up at it, which still makes me smile to this day.
My Dad always used time-honoured recipes by always following what he had found in his research. He collected wine books and researched deeply, creating each product by hand with the team of winemakers in his continued quest for authentic flavours and to keep traditions alive.
My father had permission to have a fully-fledged distillery there at the bottom of the Blackdown hills and could have done that at any time. The years caught up with him, as did the last recession and the new EU regulations with regards to bottle sizes.
Professor Jerome P. Schooler pioneer of Lurgashall Winery
My Father Professor Jerome P Schooler, will still remain a pioneer of the British Wine Industry and in business – he opened up the conversation of using real ingredients to make high-quality products. He was also Britain’s leading business expert in the 1980s when he taught many university students, he also won an award from MIT for his service in interviewing prospective students from the UK for 40 years.
Read a bit more about my Dad’s ethics here is a link: Business Ethics Are Key To Long Term Success 100%
My memories of my childhood and working with him at the Lurgashall Winery, West Sussex, United Kingdom remain. As do the experiences we provided our many customers and the 35,000 visitors we used to have to the shop.
Over the years my Father also managed to buy many companies and he took the employees and integrated them within the winery, as he did with Kirdford Growers and the apple juicing team.
My Father is an industrial engineer educated at MIT as was his Father before him. He will always be a success in my mind and in my heart.
His code of ethics was and still is so important and over the years he taught me much from his business knowledge. I only just found out that he taught classes himself at MIT, once he had left the American Air -Force.
Thanks to Drink Britain for flying the Lurgashall Winery flag still after so much change and so many years.
Fond memories of being part of the English Wine Industry even though we were at the edge for most of the time as there was and still is a lot of snobbery in the wine industry. We did take over Chilsdown Vineyard, although that is another story…