The Proust Q&A: Cherie Spriggs

Cherie Spriggs is head winemaker at Nyetimber in West Sussex. She joined the estate with her husband, Brad Greatrix, in 2007 graduating from Adelaide University. In 2012 she took the controversial step of not producing any sparkling wine at Nyetimber as she didn’t feel the grapes were up to the job. Last year, Spriggs released Tillington Single Vineyard 2009 from the estate’s 37.3-hectare Netherland plot. Priced at £75 a bottle, it marks a new era for English sparkling wine.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

When life is in a state of balance.

What is your greatest fear? 

Being trapped, literally or figuratively.

Who do you most admire?

My mother. While she’s not famous or with a career, she has life skills I will forever admire.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I don’t consider myself an extravagant person but I do splurge on nice wine.

What is your current state of mind? 
Excited! It’s blending season at Nyetimber and bringing the components together in ways that create something magical never stops being exciting.

What is the quality you most like in a man? 

Integrity.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband, Brad Greatrix.

When and where were you happiest?

Happiness is about living in the present moment and not wishing for a point in the past or waiting for the future.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love the ability to draw and paint.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I wasn’t allergic to scallops as they’re so delicious and a great pairing for sparkling wine.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

To be creating wines that I enjoy that are also are respected by others.

Where would you most like to live?

I love my current location in Sussex – you can’t beat the beautiful countryside here and the ease of getting away to other parts of the world.

What is your most treasured possession?

My health.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I get told that I’m quite intense.

Who are your favourite writers?

I’m not loyal to any particular writers.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Superman.

What is it that you most dislike?

False pretenses.

What is your greatest regret?

I don’t have any great regrets and hope that I never will.

What is your motto?

My father taught me that actions speak louder than words.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?

Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah, horticulturist Monty Don and baking royalty Mary Berry. I’d have to have sparkling wine to start. I’d then love to serve them something less expected, perhaps a known variety from an unexpected region, like an Oregon Riesling. These would be followed with a main course and a classic red grand cru Burgundy.

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