After 30 years of working in the film and television industry in London I moved to Terre de Bardet with my French wife, Claudie, in 2000. Here we have started a new life with our son Frank, who joined us a year later and has been the driving force in the restoration of the vineyards and the building of the winery.
I started my adult life by backpacking around Australia for a year and a half, when I returned to England I rapidly went through a handful of jobs that trained me in all of the categories on my driving licence – from forklift truck through double-decker buses to articulated heavy lorries. Other jobs included nurseryman, landscape gardening and tractor driver. After a spell as manager of a west London motorcycle shop I sold up and came to Terre de Bardet on my way to Thailand for some soul searching. But here I fell in love with the area, bought a house, started a family and settled down to viticulture. I now live in Lanzarote
Domaine de Terre de Bardet was created out of a larger estate of established vineyards, the remainder of which had been sold off into small parcels of land and the vineyards destroyed. The principal house was commissioned by Madame Francine Gomez, the heiress of the Waterman pen empire in France, and was designed and built by the architectural firm Ligouzat of Nimes in 1975. The house is constructed of concrete poured on site into specially constructed mouldings creating a unique sculptured building that is both spacious and light. The photos on this page were taken in 1976, just after the house was completed. During Madame Gomez’ foray into French politics the president of France, Giscard D’Estaing, came and stayed in the guesthouse. After Madame Gomez left, the house and grounds fell into disrepair. We bought the estate in 2000 and set about renovating the buildings and reinstating the grounds and in particular, the vineyards, to their pristine condition.