Bacchus Half

(by Peter Richards MW)

L-R Peter Richards MW, Susie Barrie MW, Rosie Bowerman, Emily Torjussen, Dan Eastley

L-R: Peter Richards MW, Susie Barrie MW, Rosie Bowerman, Emily Torjussen, Dan Eastley

Will wine ever feature in a future Olympics?

It’s a nice idea, but I doubt it. In the meantime, we seem to be doing a fairly good job of unearthing a world, hitherto blissfully unknown to us, of wine-related athletic endeavor. And then finding ourselves signed up to a very long run in the process.

Last year it was the Medoc Marathon, a wine-strewn odyssey through Bordeaux wine lands raising funds in memory of our friend Michael Cox.

This year, we’re taking part in the Surrey Bacchus half marathon, a course that takes in the beautiful but potentially punishing North Downs hills around the Denbies wine estate near Dorking. As with the Medoc Marathon, there will be refreshments in the form of wine as well as water around the course, though this time of course it will be English rather than French. How very patriotic. And almost certainly more refreshing.

I say we – but I’m the one selflessly (selfishly?) doing the half marathon, while Susie does the fun run with the kids. She’s a much better runner than me but prefers less of the off-road stuff, and is currently signing herself up to the Bournemouth marathon in October instead.

It promises to be a very fun day out, and a novel way to celebrate and get involved with the hugely exciting English wine scene. We’ll be there as part of a bigger team, featuring prominent members of the international wine trade (Chile, Brazil and Argentina all feature, as well as a brigade from renowned Sussex fizz producer Ridgeview) as well as plucky members of the Wine Festival Winchester team, pictured above.

If anyone fancies a day out at a wine estate in the fine English countryside watching people in fancy dress labour their way around the hills, please do come and say hi on 13th September! We’re also raising funds for The Vintner’s Foundation, which helps support those affected by alcohol abuse, also funding education and research. Here’s the link to our JustGiving page. Any support – in person or in funds – would be hugely appreciated. Thank you!