Wine Fest Winch

(by Peter Richards MW & Susie Barrie MW)

(L-R) Claire Quigley Ward, Susie Brine, Steve Brine MP, Mayor of Winchester Cllr Eileen Berry, Peter, Susie

(L-R) Claire Quigley Ward, Susie Brine, Steve Brine MP, Mayor of Winchester Cllr Eileen Berry, Peter, Susie

This thing really is happening!

We basked in a glorious English summer’s evening in the shadow of Winchester’s stunning cathedral when we hosted the promotional party for Wine Festival Winchester.

The event was to raise awareness for the festival, which is taking place in Winchester Guildhall over the weekend of 21-23 November 2014. You can find out more about the festival on its website.

We all guzzled delicious local produce including Hattingley Valley’s delightful Classic Cuvée 2011 (drinking so well now), mineral water by Hildon, chocolates by Chococo and sushi canapés by Winchester eatery Kyoto Kitchen.

The guest list included the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Eileen Berry, Winchester and Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine, restaurateurs Mark Dodd (Chesil Rectory), David Nicholson (Black Rat), Miff Kayum (Kyoto Kitchen) plus lots of other fantastic folk who we were delighted to welcome and introduce to what we’re trying to do with the festival.

Steve Brine said, ‘You struggle to believe Winchester hasn’t always had a wine festival but I suspect it will now Peter & Susie have taken the initiative.  I cannot think of a better combination for an event like this than Winchester and the undoubted masters of wine who we are so lucky to have living here in the city.  I wish the event in November every success and look forward to being part of it.’

In his address on the night, Peter said, ‘Winchester and Hampshire should be proud of its brilliant food & drink scene. The aim is for Wine Festival Winchester to become a key feature in this increasingly delicious landscape.’

Follow your Taste

Together with our co-founder Claire Quigley Ward, we revealed teasers for our (very exciting, at least for us!) ‘Follow your Taste’ concept, which will help visitors navigate their way round the festival using a simple colour-coded system that breaks wines down into six basic styles – from fresh & racy to smooth & rich – enabling people to experiment with confidence.

It was also important to mention the association of the festival with local charity Naomi House/Jacksplace, with a proportion of profits going to help children and young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families.

To buy early bird tickets at a 20% discount use the code WFWSP2014 when buying your tickets via this page. Remember that your ticket includes unlimited free wine samples (there will be around 400 wines at the festival), a free Riedel wine glass worth £12.50, a charitable donation and access to exclusive festival discounts from participating exhibitors. There will also be music, food and prize draws plus of course we’ll be on hand to chat and help guide you to the very best wines.

Do also sign up for the festival newsletter, which will bring you all the latest news and offers, including Masterclass details as soon as they are released (one will feature chocolate and wine pairing in conjunction with promo party sponsor Chococo).

Huge thanks to all the fine sponsors, exhibitors and of course those of who have already bought tickets. Let’s spread the word! In the meantime, we can’t wait until November…

Photos courtesy Catherine Skinner photography