BBC's Graham Norton make his own wine to raise money for Elton John Aids Foundation
Graham Norton gets ready to tread grapes
When you settle down tonight to watch the Graham Norton show on BBC1 you might like to know the wine he and his guests drink will soon be helping to raise money to combat Aids as part of the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Norton has already got a long standing relationship with New Zealand winery, Invivo, and currently serves its Sauvignon Blanc to guests on the show. But the two have worked together to create a special new Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc wine to be released in the UK in August that saw the TV host personally crush some of the grapes in the new release.
Tim Lightbourne, co-founder of Invivo takes up the story: “We wanted to make something special with Graham to thank him for his support over the years. But he’s in such hot demand there was no way we could get him down to the vineyard.”
So instead Lightbourne decided, earlier this month, to fly himself, along with a container of just picked grapes from his Marlborough vineyard, all the way to London.
“We had to get the grapes to Graham in perfect condition, so speed was everything,” explained Lightbourne. “So that meant a helicopter trip from the vineyard to a connecting plane, then on to London.”
When in London the grapes were ferried (via a black cab) to Norton at the TV studios where he personally trod on them to start the winemaking process.
Graham Norton gets his feet wet!
Not quite ready to drink…
Lightbourne then jumped back on a return plane to New Zealand where the grape juice was “reunited” with the rest of the juice from the vineyard block that will make up Graham Norton’s signature Sauvignon Blanc, which will carry the wording Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc on the label.
All profits from the wine when it goes on sale in August will go to Elton John’s Aids Foundation.
Lighbourne added: “We’re excited about the release of this wine, the quality will be world class, especially with a touch of ‘Norton’ Hemisphere fab! We see this as a little different to just having someone’s name on the label – it was fantastic to have Graham so intimately involved in the process.”
You can watch a film of all the action here:
Invivo is distributed in the UK through Grupo Cordoniu.