Charities hope for grape expectations

Giles Cooke
Giles Cooke
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HIS first bottles were inspired in memory of his own parents, uncorking a desire to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Now an inspiring Edinburgh-based winemaker has launched a new vintage from 2016 to try and build on the £4,500 he raised previously and potentially double that.

Giles Cooke, who grew up in the city’s Barnton area, splits his time between his home in Murrayfield and Adelaide.

He is the brains behind Our Fathers Wine, where since 2014 he has used his winemaking expertise to create a distinctive Shiraz using fruit from Australia’s Barossa Valley.

All profits will go to charities close to his heart and Giles hopes that the new vintage, of which there is just 1000 bottles, could add a further £4,000 to the £4,500 he has raised to date.

Previous donations have been made to charities including St Columba’s Hospice who provided his father with care, and Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) in respect of his mother who lived with mental illness during her later years.

As one of only 369 people around the world to hold the coveted Masters of Wine title, Giles is also a director with Ayrshire-headquartered Alliance Wine.

He said: “I’m very excited by our 2016 vintage, as following a near perfect growing season we have potentially the finest Our Fathers wine to date.

“My hope is that based on our success last year, we could raise a truly meaningful amount from the number of bottles we can make with the 2016 vintage – again for the likes of St Columba’s and SAMH who continue their awe-inspiring work. I’m hoping to be in a position to make another donation very soon but I have to balance the need to produce the next vintage – harvest is only two months away.”

Spending two weeks in Australia each November, Giles assesses the vintage for bottling in January, also using the time to visit growers and to check on the health of the vines, eventually returning for the harvest in March and April.

Giles added: “I’ve dedicated my life to making wine so producing Our Fathers is something that has meant a lot on a number of levels.”

Ahead of the formal launch, one of Australia’s most influential wine writers, Campbell Mattinson, awarded Our Fathers 2016 with the highest score to date saying it was “power packed style but a fantastic wine at that”.