Read about how English Wine Week came about from the man who invented it … Bob Lindo of Camel Valley
Author: Bob Lindo, Camel Valley Vineyard
I thought this might be of interest, before we all forget!
It was around 1995. I had a friend with a vineyard, the late Charles Cunningham (then Wooldings vineyard, Hampshire) and he couldn’t sell his wine, because he had no passing trade. Camel Valley, on the other hand, situated in a busy tourist area, had lots of visitors.
In an attempt to help Charles, I recalled my time as a GPO (now BT) apprentice, back in 1966 and we had a ‘Telephone Fortnight’, where locals could have a tour of the telephone exchange. There is nothing more boring than a telephone exchange, but we were inundated and booked solid for 2 weeks!
I suggested ‘English Wine Week’ at a meeting of the newly formed ‘EWP’, ‘English Wine Producers’. Some present thought you had to apply for permission, I remember laughing and saying: ‘There’s not actually a Ministry of Weeks!’ Mike Roberts EWP Chair and Julia Trustram Eve, Marketing Manager, both enthusiastically embraced the idea, as did Charles.
The concept was that you, as an individual vineyard owner could join in by, at a basic level, just advertising what you normally did, right up to extra tours, events, competitions or anything under this collective umbrella.
It has gone from strength to strength and is now a major annual event and the rest, as they say, is history.