Masters of Wine Susie Barrie and Peter Richards are gearing up to sell a unique set of English wines to benefit the environment and help tackle the climate crisis.
Susie and Peter launched their Big English Wine Adventure back in 2016 – the warmest year recorded on earth until that point – when they made a traditional method sparkling Blanc de Blancs in conjunction with Hampshire winery Hattingley Valley.
They’ve since added a 2017 Meunier/Chardonnay sparkling blend and a 2018 red Pinot Noir made in collaboration with one of England’s most talked about new producers, Danbury Ridge in Essex.
The charity partner for the project – the Marine Conservation Society – was chosen as part of a public competition run over 5 years. The Marine Conservation Society is a UK-based charity working to protect and restore the sea and its vital ecosystems, tackling issues from plastic pollution to over-fishing and habitat destruction. During COP26 the Marine Conservation Society highlighted the role of ‘blue carbon’, or carbon stored in the ocean. For example, 35 times more CO2 is thought to be absorbed by seagrass than rainforests.
‘We’re proud to be working with the Marine Conservation Society,’ says Barrie. ‘English wine may have benefitted in some regards from climate change but that’s a tiny silver lining in the context of what is a monumental existential threat. This charity is doing fantastic work to protect our seas and tackle the climate crisis. So everyone’s support in buying these wines will be invaluable.’
Those keen to buy the wines and support the project are being urged to be prepared for swift action given the tiny quantities available – just 250 bottles (one barrel) of the Pinot are up for sale, for example. Pierre Mansour, Director of Wine at The Wine Society, described the wines as, ‘stunning’.
The sparkling wines sport bespoke labels designed by street artist Hendog, and are branded ‘Hope & Glory’, a name nominated by the public.