Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne pays tribute to 'very very sad' death of wine boss, 53, who won £60,000 investment from him on the show

  • Dragon's Den etrepreneur Geoff Bowen, 53, has died from a brain tumour 
  • The environmental consultant won £60,000 to expand his business in 2011 
  • The Pebblebed Vineyards owner leaves behind a wife and two daughters

A Dragons' Den star who won a £60,000 investment from Duncan Bannatyne for his sparkling wines has died from a brain tumour at the age of 53. 

Entrepreneur Geoff Bowen hit screens in 2011 when he sought backing for his Devon-based business Pebblebed Vineyards. 

The father of two left viewers sympathising with him when he became overcome with nerves and froze during his pitch.

But his business acumen shone through his shaky presentation, leaving dragons Deborah Meaden and Duncan Bannatyne fighting over a stake in his business.   

Tragic: Geoff Bowen has died at the age of 53 from an brain tumour. The entrepreneur leaves behind wife  Anna and their daughters Martha, 19 and Jessie, 17 (pictured together in 2011)

Tragic: Geoff Bowen has died at the age of 53 from an brain tumour. The entrepreneur leaves behind wife Anna and their daughters Martha, 19 and Jessie, 17 (pictured together in 2011)

Winner: Geoff Bowen secured £60,000 from Dragon Duncan Bannatyne after appearing on the programme in 2011

Winner: Geoff Bowen secured £60,000 from Dragon Duncan Bannatyne after appearing on the programme in 2011

Geoff started the Pebblebed Vineyard in 1999 as a community project. He gathered together like-minded friends and planted a small vineyard on land owned by a friend

Geoff started the Pebblebed Vineyard in 1999 as a community project. He gathered together like-minded friends and planted a small vineyard on land owned by a friend

The environment consultant, from Exeter, Devon, was overjoyed to leave with £60,000 cash injection from Bannatyne.  

Posting to Twitter earlier this week, the Scottish millionaire paid tribute to Mr Bowen and his family and described his passing as 'very, very sad'.

More than 30,000 viewers logged onto the Pebblebed Vineyard website soon after the show to buy Mr Bowen's sparkling wines.

His wife Anna and their daughters Martha, 19 and Jessie, 17, have now paid a heartfelt tribute to him after he passed away in the early hours of last Saturday morning, January 6, at Exeter Hospiscare.

They said: 'We are devastated that Geoff has left us years before he should have done.

'We will be forever thankful for his infectious love, generosity, passion, excitement, enthusiasm and joy of life and living, and also for the loving security he gave to us as a family.

'He is irreplaceable and we will miss and love him forever.'

Mr Bowen had very few symptoms before being diagnosed with aggressive grade four glioblastoma - the most common high grade brain tumour in adults, on October 6, 2017.

Geoff had a successful business, more than 30,000 viewers logged onto the Pebblebed Vineyard website soon after it was discussed on BBC Two's Dragon's Den

Geoff had a successful business, more than 30,000 viewers logged onto the Pebblebed Vineyard website soon after it was discussed on BBC Two's Dragon's Den

Saddened: The Scottish millionaire saw something special in Mr Bowen when he pitched for investment in his Devon-based wine company in 2011

Saddened: The Scottish millionaire saw something special in Mr Bowen when he pitched for investment in his Devon-based wine company in 2011

'So very, very sad': Duncan Bannatyne tweeted his condolences after learning the news 

'So very, very sad': Duncan Bannatyne tweeted his condolences after learning the news 

Mr Bowen, who lived with his family in Topsham, Devon, was a huge part of the local community with 500 people helping bring in the grape harvest 

Mr Bowen, who lived with his family in Topsham, Devon, was a huge part of the local community with 500 people helping bring in the grape harvest 

Pictured: Wine grower Geoff Bowen with wife Anna in 2011 after receiving a £60,000 investment in Pebblebed Vineyard

Pictured: Wine grower Geoff Bowen with wife Anna in 2011 after receiving a £60,000 investment in Pebblebed Vineyard

Mr Bowen, who lived with his family in Topsham, Devon, was a huge part of the local community with 500 people helping bring in the grape harvest.

Pebblebed Vineyard was launched in 1999 as a community project. Geoff gathered together like-minded friends and planted a small vineyard on land owned by a friend at nearby Ebford.

He produced his first wine commercial wine called Dodo Bird in 2002.

By 2006, the entrepreneur was producing 10,000 units of wine, before more than doubling it to 25,000 units in 2010.

Entrepreneur Geoff Bowen hit screens in 2011 when he sought backing for his Devon-based business Pebblebed Vineyards

Entrepreneur Geoff Bowen hit screens in 2011 when he sought backing for his Devon-based business Pebblebed Vineyards

Pictured here with wife Anna, the father of two left viewers sympathising with him when he became overcome with nerves and froze during his pitch

Pictured here with wife Anna, the father of two left viewers sympathising with him when he became overcome with nerves and froze during his pitch

Pebblebed makes still white, rosé and red as well as fabulous white and rosé sparkling wines produced by the classic method of secondary fermentation in the bottle.

The community vineyard, shared amongst a number of Topsham families, continues today, while the commercial Pebblebed vineyard, planted in 2003, has gone from strength to strength.

With 25 acres under plantation, it is now the largest commercial vineyard in the South West.

In a good year, Pebblebed can produce upwards of 40,000 bottles.

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