In July Bath will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen for a whole month. Local businesses are putting on all sorts of events across the city, while the local tourist board VisitBath is leading a month-long digital campaign celebrating the author and her novels.
Wine and English literature go hand-in-hand throughout history. Whether you look at the role it played alongside the monk literate in the Medieval era, in the founder of the dictionary Samuel Johnson's The Cellar-Book, or in Austen's own writing, the emotional bond between these two creations is undeniable.
Austen's 200th anniversary presents an exciting opportunity for many local wine producers to champion English wines. Wines from Somerset, such as Dunleavy Vineyard, Oatley Vineyard and Wraxall Vineyard, may not have direct links to the author but they share the same love for the area and English creativity.
Jane Austen Today also references Austen's Mrs Jennings, who tells Elinor in Sense and Sensibility about the indulgent dessert wine Constantia from South Africa:
“My dear,” said she, entering, “I have just recollected that I have some of the finest old Constantia wine in the house that ever was tasted, so I have brought a glass of it for your sister. My poor husband! how fond he was of it! Whenever he had a touch of his old colicky gout, he said it did him more good than any thing else in the world. Do take it to your sister.”
However you choose to celebrate Jane Austen for her 200th anniversary, we hope you find time to put your feet up, enjoy the sunshine and toast creativity with a glass of quality wine.