I have just spent a lovely evening playing cricket in Marble Hill Park, Twickenham, with a great bunch of guys.
There is something so English about cricket. Pass through a village on a weekend afternoon, and if it has a green, there’ll invariably be a cricket match in progress. It’s a slow, time-consuming game. It’s a team game, but it is based around individual performances. It is also a dramatic game: if you are out, that’s it. You only get one chance.
It is played with a hard ball, which makes it painful at times, and occasionally dangerous. But it is also played in a very good spirit, with a culture of respect for the opposition (we clap opposing batsmen to the crease). Cricket embodies something of Englishness.
So when it comes to English wines, be they still or sparkling, is there some way that we can capture Englishness in the wine? Can we transmit a sense of place, a local identity, to the wines? This is crucial, I reckon, to making English wines desirable in their own right. No one wants a copy. Let’s see if we can tell a story through our wines. People respond to stories, and if our wines can carry the story of Englishness, they will be more successful for it.