Winemaker gives profits from bottles created in memory of parents to charity

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SOME people might run a marathon or host a coffee morning to raise money for good causes.

But Giles Cooke went a step further, launching a new wine in memory of his parents and donating all his profits to charity.

Giles Cooke is donating the profits from his wine to charity

Giles Cooke is donating the profits from his wine to charity

Mr Cooke’s latest donation from his “Our Fathers” shiraz has seen him give £1500 to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

It follows a further £3000 already raised from the wine’s sales, with Mr Cooke saying he was delighted at how well it had been received. Mr Cooke, 46, launched the wine following the death of his father in April 2013 and his mother from suicide just over a year later.

He said: “I wanted to do something really personal and I have definitely managed that – though in hindsight I maybe should have just run a marathon.

“I’ve dedicated my life to making wine so producing Our Fathers is something that has meant a lot on a number of levels. The result is a wine that I’m proud and delighted to have produced.

“The reviews have been excellent as well so hopefully we will see as many people as possible trying it out and helping to raise money for some amazing causes.”

Mr Cooke, who grew up in Barnton, now splits his time between the vineyard in Adelaide and his home in Murrayfield.

He said the wine – whose grapes are grown in the Barossa Valley in South Australia – had not only raised money for charity but helped him through what had been a traumatic period of his life.

“Although a lot of work goes into it it’s pretty enjoyable,” he said. “It’s a very positive thing to have going through all that.

“I’ve always had a love of creating things and being very hands-on. I’m very lucky to be in a position where I can see the entire process through from beginning to end.”

Critics have described the wine, which costs £25 per bottle, as “one of the best Barossa Shiraz” which comes complete with “overt berry aromas and a long finish”.

Mr Cooke said he is about to start bottling his 2016 vintage, with the 2017 batch already in the barrel.

While he has to balance the project alongside a separate full-time job creating wine for a separate firm, Mr Cooke said he hoped to continue helping charities with his own product as long as possible.

“I wouldn’t like it to be a flash in the pan because the problems in mental health are not going away,” he said.

“It’s only a drop in the ocean of what these guys need but if I can do that then hopefully things will improve in terms of care.”

Other charities Mr Cooke’s wine has helped include St Columba’s Hospice and the British Heart Foundation.

Sarah Nicholson, corporate partnerships manager at SAMH, said: “Thank you so much to Our Fathers.

“This generous donation will go a long way to help SAMH raise awareness, promote good mental health, campaign and support those in Scotland affected by poor mental health.”

florence.snead@jpress.co.uk