WINCHESTER wine-lovers are set to take part in a wine-themed marathon later this month to raise money for charity.

For Lynne Cox and her friends – including Saturday Kitchen wine experts Peter Richards and Susie Barrie – it will be more a case of hitting the wall than hitting the bottle when they take part in the Medoc Marathon in Bordeaux in memory of her late husband.

The Ropley-based master vintner, Michael Cox, died from cancer last year aged 62 leaving behind Lynne, 56, and his twin brother David.

Now a group of wine enthusiasts are raising money for The Vintners’ Foundation and The Benevolent by running around one of France’s most revered wine regions.

The team, coordinated by David Cox, will set off from Pauillac on September 13 in aid of two charities which were particularly close to Michael’s heart.

Ms Cox, of Vicarage Lane, said: “The run is important because Michael was a well-known, well-respected and much-loved figure within the UK wine trade, and so we wanted to come together to celebrate his memory, whilst also raising money for good causes.

“The Medoc Marathon seemed particularly appropriate because of the wine theme but also because it has a reputation for being good fun – as did Michael. So many of the hundreds of letters I received after his death, commented upon his sense of fun, as well as his legendary skills on the dance floor - which he referred to as “freestyle”!

“The money we raise will be split between two charities which were extremely close to Michael’s heart. The first is the Wine Trade Benevolent fund, which looks after anyone in the wine trade who may need help at some point in their lives, for example through ill-health or bereavement.

“The second is the Vintners’ Foundation which supports a number of wine trade related charities such as those dealing with alcohol misuse and education. Michael was Master of the Worshipful Company of Vintners at the time he was diagnosed with cancer, but was able to complete his one year tenure, in spite of undergoing chemotherapy. The Vintners’ Foundation was one of the main areas he focused on and hence it seemed appropriate to split the funds between the Vintners’ Foundation and the Benevolent.”

In an obituary to him Mr Richards said: “The last thing Michael Cox would have wanted is people getting morose. What would he have done? Raised a glass. Celebrated a life with a twinkle in an eye. Cracked a corny joke to lighten the atmosphere. And moved on: always hungry for life, interested in people, relishing challenges that lay ahead.”

To donate or find out more about the cause visit