As some of you may know Mark (and our son Archie) have been away fulfilling a life time dream of sailing across the Pacific. Whilst I did the first part, Colombia to Galapagos via the Panama Canal, I’ve missed out the big, scary middle bit of almost 3000 miles and am going to join them for the last bit. Someone has to be at work! It’s meant that I’ve been a ‘solo boss’ for the last 6 weeks and, don’t tell Mark, I’ve really enjoyed it. Also don’t tell him that on sunny days I drive around the Estate too fast with country music blaring!
There’s been a lot going on and I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to have found myself working in the world of wine. We have been entertaining sommeliers, chefs and buyers from the very best restaurants and hotels over the last few months and all (and I mean this) have been exceptionally lovely. It’s been hard to think of it as work. No one comes more highly qualified than our visitor two weeks ago, Gerard Basset, OBE MW MS MBA OIV. Gerard is the only person in the world to hold the Master Sommelier, Master of Wine, Wine MBA and World’s Best Sommelier! Without Mark here, I was slightly anxious as I am always the first to admit that I am on a learning curve when it comes to wine. I needn’t have worried. Like all true professionals who are confident in their expertise, Gerard was so kind, never overwhelming me with his knowledge and letting me learn as we went along. He tells a funny story too, which is always good.
Other news in the vineyard – well, Jamie and his wife, Sylvia, have had a baby girl, Iona. Millie and I are getting new puppies in the next few weeks, bringing the total number of vineyard dogs to 8 and I’m ridiculously excited about it. Can’t imagine what I’ll be like as a grandmother (did you know our son Brook is engaged to Laura, celebrating his marriage at Rathfinny next year?) I go around showing complete strangers pictures of my new dog.
We had a funny thing happen a couple of weeks ago when we ran our very successful Yoga Retreat. Two elderly ladies turned up and we were impressed that they were yoga devotees. However, it turned out that yoga is not their passion, but entering competitions is. We had run a competition for 2 places with OM Yoga Magazine, as professional competition enter’ers – they had won! Needless to say, they had a lovely time even thought they weren’t yogis.
Come and see us this summer. Our pop up dinners with exceptional chefs are proving very popular. We’ve got the Sunday lunches and now some dinners too at the Flint Barns – always popular, they book out in a few hours. Contact Ade, firstname.lastname@example.org, to get on the list. Come and stay and walk the South Downs or book on an exclusive, 3 hour tour with either a Winemakers lunch or tea.
PS. For those of you interested in my other life as Chair of our Trust, Driver Youth Trust, here’s my latest article in the SEND Magazine that looks at some of the commonly held beliefs about dyslexia.