Peter & Susie sparkle in a Big English Wine Adventure

Circle member and award-winning wine writer Peter Richards MW and fellow Master of Wine Susie Barrie have teamed up with Hattingley Valley to launch a charity-focused English wine initiative – The Big English Wine Adventure.

Over the last year, they have been making a top-notch, small-production Hampshire Blanc de Blancs. At the same time, they are asking for help in not only selecting a charity to support but also finding a name for the wine. A lucky few will win some of the new wine as a prize.

“We’d love to hear from people with ideas for charities we could support that are close to their heart,” says Peter Richards MW. “As for the wine name, we’re looking for inspired suggestions and hopefully we’ll come up with something a bit more original than Winey McWineFace. We’ve already had some great shouts, which have proved both amusing and thought-provoking, and we look forward to many more!”

Susie & Peter have produced two short films documenting their attempts at harvesting (Susie focuses on quality; Peter’s more of a quantity man) and blending (a critical decision, which is why Peter is largely ignored). More such videos will be produced in due course and a selection of short video teasers will also be seeded via social media.

The 1,000-bottle production wine is made from the 2016 vintage – the year of the Rio Olympics, Brexit, Bowie, Trump and the final BBC Bake Off, not to mention Andy Murray winning Wimbledon and Gary Lineker presenting MOTD in his underpants after Leicester City unexpectedly won the Premier League. It was also, incidentally, the warmest year ever recorded – and a promising vintage in the UK from a quality point of view.

Once all votes are in, and a final decision has been made on the charity to support, Susie & Peter will randomly draw a name from those who proposed this charity to receive six bottles of their wine. The same procedure will apply to the selection of the wine name. The plan, once costs have been covered, is for proceeds from sales of the wine to go directly to the chosen charity.

Susie & Peter will be joining in several harvests around the UK in 2017, partly as research for a book they are currently writing on English and Welsh wine. In addition, other wines may follow as part of the Big English Wine Adventure, depending on how the project evolves.

Read more on the Big English Wine Adventure online and submit your suggestions.