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Published:  23 July, 2008

Americans, anglophiles and English sparkling wine producers Stuart and Sandy Moss (the latter the winner of the McAlpine English Winemaker of the Year, see Harpers, 10/17 August) have put the contents of their house, Nyetimber, up for auction through Sotheby's. Before settling in West Sussex the Chicago couple collected early English oak furniture. Stuart Moss was a maker of x-ray and medical equipment and Sandy was an archaeologist and America's premier dealer of English oak furniture, through a shop in Winnetka, Illinois. Stuart said: "We have had great fun amassing this collection over the last 30 years but now, as there are just the two of us, the house and collection are too big. The pieces came from England and were transported to the US and back again." The Moss collection will be on view from 14-16 September and the auction will take place on 27 September at Sotheby's new Olympia saleroom. Stuart and Sandy bought Nyetimber after they spotted a vineyard on an oak furniture buying trip to Suffolk. They were so taken with it they decided to start their own, despite a Ministry of Agriculture vine expert's advice to grow apples, as "there's no future in vines". Knowing nothing about winemaking, Sandy Moss enrolled on a course at Plumpton Agricultural College in East Sussex. The couple recently won four trophies at the English and Welsh Wines of the Year Competition: the Gore-Browne Trophy for Wine of the Year; the Wine Guild Trophy for the best wine of any other vintage; the Vintners' Trophy for Sparkling Wine; and Sandy's award for McAlpine Winemaker of the Year.