Over 360 visitors defied the Bank Holiday Monday weather to support Hattingley Valley’s Charity Open Day in aid of MOVE. £10,000 was raised at the fifth Open Day held at Hattingley Valley Winery in Lower Wield where good cheer and family fun were the order of the day.
The theme was obvious with activities ranging from bottle-smashing, cork-bobbing, a winery treasure map, design-a-label art table, bottle hoopla, wine tasting quiz and wine appreciation masterclasses – the latter were new this year and proved very popular as masterclass maestro, Simon Evans from the Naked Grape, kept everyone entertained while demonstrating how to drink and enjoy a variety of wines. In addition, visitors enjoyed guided tours of the ever-expanding winery and die-hards made it up to the wind-swept vineyard on the edge of Medstead to admire the vines just two months before the 2015 harvest.
As ever the sheep-racing stole the show with ‘Pink Lady’ winning her heat and the final. This year winning ‘sheep sponsors’ claimed their bottles of HV Red Admiral. Owner of Hattingley Valley and trustee of MOVE, Simon Robinson, offered rides in some of the vintage cars on display including the 1923 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost while motor enthusiasts examined the 1902 De Dion Bouton; this old gem will participate in the 119th London to Brighton Veteran Car Run in November.
Visitors were kept entertained by two local musicians from Sandtimer playing folk gigs, although the drizzle was not ideal for easy listening. In spite of the weather, the Fabulously British Bar did a roaring trade in fizz sales both by the glass and bottle while supplying beer drinkers with Hampshire ale. Matt’s Hog Roast kept the meat eaters happy while Nosh offered salads and wraps and the MOVE Café made several hundred cups of tea, coffee and sold out of its home baked carrot and Malteser cakes. Just in case visitors did not feel like cooking when they returned home, a fine array of local produce was sold from a dozen farmers’ market style stalls.
It was the Auction of promises, launched on-line mid-August with final bids being taken at the winery during the Open Day, which raised the lion’s share of the money. Local individuals and businesses contributed some amazing lots which were snapped up by bidders from Wield to Germany.
This all goes to show that whatever the weather, there is tremendous local support for this fundraising event organised and run by the committee of MOVE- Hampshire in conjunction with Hattingley Valley Wines with invaluable help from 60 loyal friends and volunteers.