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30 years on: wine producers reveal secrets to the good life

Ian and Jane Awty looking over the vineyard Photo: ITV News

A couple in Somerset have revealed how they quit high paying jobs in London to pursue their dream and produce wine.

31 years ago Ian and Jane Awty moved from London's Hampstead to start a vineyard in Cannington, Somerset. Now in their seventies, they're still hard at work, but remain convinced they made the right decision:

"We had three small children, we had a big house, we had quite a comfortable lifestyle and we were coming to something where we didn't know how it would work out at all. It was a lovely place and we looked forward to bringing the children up in the country. We promised a pony and all those sorts of things but we didn't really know but actually it's worked out really well."

– Jane Awty
Where it all began: the Awty family during one of their first harvests

In the 30 years since moving, their crop has grown ten times in size from their first harvest in 1988 - and their wines have won 24 international awards:

They own 3 acres of vineyard, which produces about 7 tons of grapes and about 6,000 bottles of wine.

Yet it hasn't all been plain sailing. Jane had to go back to work to stay financially afloat:

"When we started English wine was rare, expensive and not necessarily very good, these days its hugely accepted and become very fashionable. I understand that the first full container of wine was shipped to the States to Southampton a few days ago which is a total transformation."

– Ian Awty
Jane and Ian, joined by our reporter David Woodland

When asked if they would do anything differently the answer is predictable:

"No I'm struggling to think!"