I get pretty lucky to get invited these days to some pretty cool events. Following my trip to Hambledon in Hampshire a few weeks back I was invited back to the county to check out the UK Vineyard Olympics. Well, I say UK, it was Hampshire vs Sussex. And I say Olympics, not sure cork bobbing made it to Rio. Their loss, eh?
I swear the sun always shines in Hampshire. Well both times I’ve visited have been lovely days, so I’m at least two for two. Jenkyn Place Vineyard hosted the event, again just an hour’s train ride south of central London. The festivities were opened with a sabre-ing of a bottle of English bubbles and away we went. Barrel rolling, relay races up and down the vines, the all conquering tug of war, cork bobbing from buckets, and a wine-o’s take on the egg and spoon race: 3 bubbles flutes on a tray!
What made me laugh was the sporadic competitiveness. I tried to stay well clear because, being ginger, I’m just the same. I find it nearly impossible to play any form of sport or anything without this deep desire to win at all costs. It’s made playing friendly games of touch rugby or five-a-side football a bit of an exercise in will power more than skill over the years. There were one or two winery guys and girls who were just the same. They know who they are, and don’t worry, I feel your ordeal people!
Team Hampshire just about sneaked the day, coming from behind after a trouncing in barrel rolling and the relay race. The presentation ceremony was mercifully short as the smells from the BBQ were wafting (my mate Steve from Hambledon in the box seat there once again!!). From there it was time to sit down, open a few bottles to try eachother’s efforts, and talk all things English wine.
Lovely end to a lovely day.
Joining from Hampshire
Cottonworth, Danebury, Exton Park, Hambledon, Hattingley, Jenkyn Place, Meon Hill
Joining from Sussex
Wiston Estate, Nyetimber, Gusbourne, Bluebell, Rathfinny, Ridgeview