Exton Park Vineyard

Archives: August 2016


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It wasn’t quite Rio, but almost as sunny. The world’s first One Day Vineyard Olympic Games were held earlier the month at Jenkyn Place, near Alton, with the home team posting a triumphant win, and raising almost £800 for the Benevolent, the drinks industry charity.

And Exton Park were part of that team, represented by Corinne Seely supported by her sons Theodore and Alexander.

The seven Vineyards of Hampshire – Cottonworth, Danebury, Exton Park, Jenkyn Place, Hattingley Valley, Hambledon and Meonhill – had thrown down the gauntlet to their counterparts in neighbouring Sussex to find the most talented winemaking teams.  Not in the winery, but on the ground – as they competed in light hearted track and field events, created especially for the inaugural meeting. 

Taking up that challenge were four Sussex vineyards – Wiston , Bluebell, Nyetimber, and Rathfinney – led by the intrepid winemaker Dermot Sugrue.

It was all a bit of friendly fun- but despite that, the title of County Victor, and the Jeroboam Trophy, was fiercely contested. Events included a wine waiter’s race, complete with English sparkling wine flutes on trays; barrel rolling down one of those gentle chalk slopes; tossing the end post (but no kilts required); cork bobbing in a bucket; tug of war naturally over bottle ‘territory’, and a relay race round a row of vines, using a bottle baton.

With unbiased judging from the Head of the Vineyard Olympic Committee, who vehemently denied accepting bribes, points were distributed fairly evenly between the two counties.  The atmosphere was tense – but in the end it was Hampshire’s mighty muscle in the Tug of War and Tossing the Endpost that clinched the title.


Winning wine waiter Gareth Maxwell of Hattingley(2) [2106815]

Picture shows:  The winning ‘wine waiter’, Gareth Maxwell of Hattingley Valley and his ‘outrider’ Alexander Seely determined to reach the finishing line first.  Followed closely by Rick Goring and Dermot Sugrue of Wiston Estate.

Corinne in the Vineyard Olympics [2106816]

Picture shows: Corinne Seely takes up the waiters’ race challenge with her usual poise and precision

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