Next year is the Big Birthday, but today 9th September it’s somehow 49 years since I returned from my time in Bordeaux with a case of half-bottle samples of the wine from the Cave Co-operative where I had been working all year on the bottling line. Can’t start much closer to the bottom than that!
I had brought back wines before and may Dad and his friends seemed to like them so I was hopeful that after a ‘tasting in the comfort of your home’ people would sign up for a case. It didn’t look too promising but after a while I did sell one case. More eventually followed, but very slowly. Then things went better and faster. Then faster and faster.
I think I was lucky to start when I did. The Seventies were very busy times, the Eighties busier and after that it’s all a bit of a blur as I tried to keep up with Britain’s sudden passion for wine.
So it’s not been easy writing the story of my little wine venture. But I have now done it and a good editor is trying to get it to make sense. Out next year, the story of Laithwaite’s Fifty Years. Just have to think of a title …