Zam Baring admits he was lucky. The son of the late Lord Ashburton of The Grange and his siblings already owned the 30 acres of downland just outside Winchester that would become Burge’s Field Vineyard in 2011. The flinty south-facing slopes have proved ideal for achieving the perfect balance of acidity and sugar in the Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes they wanted to grow.
But turning that land into a profitable business in a hugely competitive industry has required hands-on hard graft, including many sleepless nights. “Faced with frost at a critical point in the growing season, you realise what commitment to your crop is all about,” he says with a smile.
Winchester bowler and batsman Brad Taylor from Hampshire County Cricket Club admits he’s been unlucky. This summer is a welcome return to the pitch for Brad, whose injury-riddled career has seen him miss far more of the action of the past few years than he’d have liked.
“The pandemic combined with a series of injuries has made me miss out on far too much county cricket,” he says. “It’s made me even more determined to get playing this summer.”
She’s the stylist who made Hotel du Vin and The Pig group of boutique hotels renowned as much for their rooms as for their food and drink, with her ability to create laid-back eclectic interiors that effortlessly exude style key to their success.
Winchester-based Judy Hutson says that behind the scenes the attention is in the detail – or rather a million details – and even at home she’d never leave a sofa without its cushions plumped in just the right way.
Every morning Benjamin Cunningham, assistant director of chapel music, walks a group of 16 boys, aged from nine to 13, through the grounds of Winchester College to make music together in William of Wykeham’s 14th century chapel.
The Royal Hampshire County Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit has just a handful of coronavirus patients. The majority of the 42 beds brought in to cope with the predicted demand lie empty. The working day, it appears, has begun a slow return to ‘normal’ – whatever that is now.
“We’re waiting to see what will happen next,” says consultant anaesthetist, Dr Geoff Watson. “There is concern that we’ll suddenly have a new influx of coronavirus patients. We’ve seen fewer than usual seriously ill patients with other conditions over the lockdown partly because of the lack of exposure and a more sedentary lifestyle. Those cases will inevitably go back to the numbers we usually deal with and there are signs of this already happening.”