I was privileged to visit Horspath's own Sunnyhill vineyard recently. It was a nice sunny Saturday lunchtime prior to their upcoming open day on this weekend's bank holiday (25-27th August).
This is not the best time of day to be downing close to a full bottle of red wine you might think. That was certainly my fear. But you know what, I felt perfect all day and had no headache at any point. I also didn't fall asleep for the afternoon as might have been the reasonable response to such hospitality (ok, I had ten minutes on the sofa - but it was really hot!! :). Next morning I was up bright and early, with absolutely no after effect except a smile on my face.
One might think that this immunity is the result of my body being pickled over many years and not reacting to a great 12% red in the midday sun.
The truth is that this is a truly local organic wine, not something mass produced and full of chemicals to preserve the wine through months of time spent in distribution centres.
On first opening it's got a weird smell, something that's unfamiliar except if you're in the habit of sticking your nose in a jar full of blackberry jam. It doesn't smell like wine, it's more like a fruit juice smell. And there's the danger. It tastes great, possibly a little too great!! :)
It's the sort of wine to have with some nice danish blue cheese and biscuits and a good conversation. It's a wine to be enjoyed, it's not a wine to be downed while sitting watching Coronation street - unless the bottle happens to be open at that time.
The wine has extraordinarily long legs, a great body and lingers just long enough as to not interrupt the Formula 1 on the TV. Basically it's a perfect catch.
Sunnyhill has kindly offered to talk to the club at our event in October and the wine will be on sale at the vineyard from this weekend. They also make still and sparkling cider, plus a still and sparkling white.
Seriously, this is a great village!!!