Wine making teacher swaps chalk for cork

Harriet Connor-Earl
Harriet Connor-Earl

A wine created by an Ardingly College teacher has gone on sale in 400 stores around the UK.

Harriet Connor-Earl, 35, of Scaynes Hill, and her husband Thomas Earl, 34, saw their own blend of Shiraz Grenache Tempranillo hit the shelves of Morrisons stores on Monday.

Harriet was one of almost 3,500 Morrisons’ shoppers who entered a competition to attend an exclusive blending workshop weekend with Rosemount Estate Chief Winemaker, Matt Koch.

During the weekend, which took place in November 2013, five finalists took part in an ‘art of blending’ masterclass where they were given a set of single varietal Rosemount wines, described by flavour rather than grape and they mixed them to find their favourite flavour combination.

The final blends were then judged blind with the overall winner being selected by the winemaker and Morrisons’ wine team.

Harriet said she and Thomas chose to name their wine “Chat”, as she said it was the kind of wine to drink of an evening, as opposed to on special occasions.

She said: “I have always enjoyed a glass of wine but I never thought I would get the chance to create my own blend, let alone have it go on sale!

“For me, I usually drink white wine because I can find red wine a bit heavy, but this is a light red wine.”

Harriet said it was the perfect end to her year as she and her husband married at the English Wine Centre earlier that year.

Matt Koch said: “Harriet trusted her taste buds and created an easy-drinking, delicious wine that, as she best described, is perfect for a ‘Chat’ with friends.”

“The resulting blend is a rich and silky cross between Côtes du Rhône and Rioja, with a flavoursome Aussie twist,”