Wine enthusiast who gave up drinking sells off cellar full of plonk for school forest fundraiser

Parliament Hill Secondary School to benefit from auction

Friday, 11th March — By Dan Carrier

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Claudia Kretzschmar with some of the auction bottles

A WINE enthusiast who no longer drinks alcohol wants to turn her cellar full of plonk into a wood!

Claudia Kretzschmar started running an online auction this week, selling her collection in order to raise funds for a new forest of trees at Parliament Hill School.

She has 100 bottles that need a good home.

“We want to plant a miniature forest and hedgerow and thought this would be a good way to raise the funds to pay for it,” said Ms Kretzschmar.

“We kept our wine after we stopped drinking, and when people came over, we would give them a bottle to take home. Eventually our friends suggested we auction it off. We wanted the wine to be put to good use and helping plant a forest seemed specific and tangible.”

Ms Kretzschmar’s daughters attend the secondary school, which last year saw a new orchard planted in the grounds. Now, with the help of the produce of European vineyards, the project is expanding.

Ms Kretzschmar gave up alcohol three years ago but was left with the selection of delicious fine wine.

“The simple fact is drinking is addictive,” she said. “You can always tell yourself you are a ‘wine buff’, and that is sophisticated, but at the end of the day you are a drinker. We decided it had reached the point where we should use our time doing something else.”

Ms Kretzschmar added: “Whenever we travelled, we would often be in areas known for producing wine.”

This included trips to Italy, northern Spain and Bordeaux – giving the wine lovers plenty of opportunities to bring a glass or two of something they fancied back home.

Ms Kretzschmar said: “We would always visit vineyards. We would go to a small vineyard and get a private tour.”

It means the collection has some wines that are extremely rare – though are not all expensive.

Ms Kretzschmar said: “We would visit small producers, have lunch and try some wine. We would buy bottles to bring home for our own enjoyment. These would be excellent wines sold in small quantities and were not expensive, even though they are excellent and limited. Some we have a few bottles of, but mostly they are just single bottles.”

The orchard at Parliament Hill School is known as “feminist orchard” with each tree named after an inspirational women from history.

To bid on the wine go to:


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