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Hard Graft for charity during English Wine Week

Published:  15 June, 2020

Graft Wine Company co-founder Nik Darlington is set to run 100km between English vineyards during English Wine Week (20 to 28 June), launching an initiative to raise money for the Drinks Trust.

The 100K English Wine Week Challenge throws down the gauntlet to others to “run, walk or cycle as far as they can during the week”, visiting at least one vineyard, to raise awareness of the many “small and tucked away” estates spread across southern England.

Two ‘clubs’ have been set up via the Strava running and cycling app to allow people to track their own progress, with Darlington encouraging others to follow his lead and donate to The Drinks Trust via its Just Giving Page.

Darlington will begin his odyssey at Black Chalk winery in the Test Valley on 22 June, planning to take in the North Downs, Itchen Valley, Lod Valley and the Wey Valley while live streaming from his runs.

“This began as just a way for me to get to know the countryside around me a bit better and discover our local vineyards. The idea snowballed from there,” he said.

“Our wine lands aren’t like Bordeaux or Stellenbosch with vines carpeting the horizon. Most of our vineyards are small and tucked away. You need to dig a bit deeper to find many of them, so this is also a way of encouraging people during English Wine Week to get outside and find them.”

Ross Carter, chief executive of The Drinks Trust, added: “We are always impressed with the challenges people take on in order to raise money for The Drinks Trust and Nik’s is truly exceptional. Thank you for your support and what a brilliant way to celebrate English Wine Week.”

Links can be found here for The 100K English Wine Week Challenge and the Strava Clubs for running and cycling respectively.