Originally planted in 1989, Greyfriars Vineyard was purchased in 2010 by current owners Mike and Hilary Wagstaff who were attracted by the opportunity to create a premium sparkling wine at good value to be drunk on all occasions.  What makes Greyfriars wines so spectacular? “It’s partly down to the location,” explains Mike, “the chalky soil combined with the sunlight on the south-facing slopes of the Hog’s Back outside Guildford make this perfect wine-growing country.”

Greyfriar’s scaling strategy has also benefited from Mike’s engineering background and entrepreneurial experience in the oil & gas industry working with start-ups and growth companies.  They have now built up the business to a commercial-size vineyard with 40 acres across two sites and state-of-the-art production facilities.  

However, growth has not come at the expense of quality.  Focusing predominantly on English quality sparkling wines, Greyfriars has won many awards, and aims to solidify its position as a boutique commercial vineyard and winery business.  

Digital marketing requires regular, consistent, and targeted posting activity on social media combined with careful tracking of the customer experience through customer journey mapping from social media to the web site.  The website design also needs to be regularly updated and audited for customer experience and SEO.

To help meet this challenge, Greyfriars is collaborating with MSc students from Surrey Business School who are studying Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.  Students learn the theory in the classroom and then have opportunity to put it into practice with company stakeholders like Greyfriars.  

As Mike Wagstaff notes, “We are delighted to be working with the Surrey Business School on the Corporate Challenge digital marketing project. Not only is it a great initiative that develops positive synergies between Greyfriars and an important local institution, but it is also a superb opportunity for the students themselves to develop ideas and initiatives that have the potential to leave a lasting impact on our business.”

Jim Sears is CEO, InnoMatters Ltd, www.InnoMatters.co.uk and Programme Director - MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management, Surrey Business School 

To learn more about the Greyfriars Vineyard story or student-based projects, please visit our website

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