Hi, I’m Joel, owner of Grape & Grain Tours, Hampshire resident (although originally from Australia) and married to Kirsty, who grew up in a village near Winchester. We have an 11 month old son, a miniature schnauzer and two businesses between us so life is pretty hectic!
I came to the UK nearly seven years ago. As an avid whisky and wine enthusiast who had been working in drinks retail in Sydney, I decided I wanted to be closer to the distilleries of Scotland and the great wine regions of Europe. When I got here I discovered two things – one, it really does rain as much as they say, and two England produces some truly excellent wines, beers and spirits!
I had initially planned to stay here five years, but plans went happily awry as I met my wife at a whisky enthusiasts group in London. Kirsty also works in the drinks industry, as a PR and marketing consultant. As you can see, ours is a marriage built on a passion for good quality drinks! It seems only natural then that together we would launch a business that involves taking fellow food and drink lovers to visit some of this country’s wonderful producers.
During my time in the UK I’ve been lucky enough to work as a gin distiller, a whisky ambassador and manage a specialist wine and beer merchant. Now, with Grape & Grain Tours, I get to combine my passion for food and drink as well as enjoy the beautiful countryside and meet some great people along the way.
Grape & Grain Tours are hosted days out, predominantly visiting breweries, wineries and gin distilleries in Hampshire and Surrey throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn. We also plan to hold a few special tours visiting other wonderful local food and drink producers, such as cheesemakers, chocolatiers and coffee roasters. In addition to our regular tours we host private tours for groups of 10+, which are perfect for special occasions and corporate days out.
On our Hampshire tour you’ll be met by me at a Winchester Railway Station in a luxury minibus. Once aboard we will wind our way down country lanes, taking in the beautiful scenery. Throughout the day we will visit a local winery, a brewery and a distillery to taste their award-winning wines, beers and gins and learn how they are made. A delicious two course gastropub lunch is included and throughout the day I’ll be revealing intriguing stories about Hampshire’s rich drinks history. It is a relaxed, fun and informative day out, perfect for couples, groups of friends, family or work colleagues.
Tickets are now available for our first Hampshire Tour of the year on Saturday 14th April, with tours every month throughout the season. Personalised gift vouchers are also available, which can be used for any of our tours.
We are giving you the chance to experience Grape & Grain for yourself with our fabulous competition. The prize on offer is a private gin tasting for up to six people, personally hosted by me and to be held at the brilliant Cabinet Rooms in Winchester. We will enjoy a selection of locally produced gins accompanied with nibbles. The tasting will be held on a Tuesday or Wednesday, to be booked in by the winner. The total value of this prize is £210. For more information, please refer to Hampshire Mums Facebook post where you will find entry details. Good luck!