Simon Bladon & Camilla Jennings
Jenkyn Place, Hampshire
Simon Bladon planted his first vines on his land in Hampshire in 2004 and has not only developed the Jenkyn Place brand but been an enthusiastic supporter of the wine industry since he first got involved. Camilla his daughter, joined Jenkyn Place in 2013 to develop the marketing and sales for the brand, including developing its new branding in 2018
Camilla: “It’s been so much fun working together, and above all I think we just both feel so incredibly lucky to have this experience, journey, and time, together. How many 33 year old still get to hang out with their parents, at their family home, and even manage to steal the odd home grown cabbage or two to take back for supper. We both consider ourselves the boss; but what we do agree on in that we can completely trust one another. It makes making decisions, and dividing tasks, that must easier – we know what the other would do, or how they would like it done. Not so much ‘checking-in’ needed which is great.
What are you passing on to your children – was there anything you learnt from your father that you follow?
Simon: “Oh, I hate questions like this. So, to my children, I hope I am passing on ethics, a desire to work hard, and I guess a love and appreciation of wine! And in terms of what I learnt from my father, well it’s got to be exactly the same. In addition after only last a few months in my father’s law firm, he taught me quite clearly that I didn’t want to be a solicitor (although I don’t think that was his intention)”
Camilla: “He has taught me how hard work is a good thing, and when you are working for yourself or a family business, working hard makes you happy, and that you don’t care about how hard you have to work or how many weekends you have to work – because if you are passionate about what you do then it just doesn’t matter. He’s always inspired me, but I never believed we would end up working together, and now I can’t imagine it any other way. He is also a very kind man, and I think that is so important – the way he interacts with everyone with such interest and patience, it is a wonderful characteristic and I think it’s something all our customers who meet him notice. He is in fact so interested in engaging with customers or visitors rather than jamming cases of wine into their arms, that I often have to catch his eye and remind him he should maybe ask if they wanted to buy anything and not just chat.”