Brother of Boris Johnson turns his hand to making organic red wine in Queen’s Park

Leo Johnson, left, pouing a a glass of his organic red wine with John Smith

Leo Johnson, left, pouing a a glass of his organic red wine with John Smith - Credit: Archant

Napa Valley has come to Brent now a Queen’s Park resident has bought his community together to produce home grown wine for all.

Locals at the wine tasting event

Locals at the wine tasting event - Credit: Archant

Leo Johnson, from Harvist Road, has launched Unthinkable Drinkable Brent: Making wine and friends in London, from outside his house.

His organic red wine, NW6, described as a “crowd trampled wild vine street wine with a sweet back story and a bitter aftertaste” was sourced from grapes picked in Brent and trampled on by his neighbours.

He said: “We do it all on the street so other people see and join in, and also because my wife wouldn’t let me in the kitchen.”

Mr Johnson, brother of Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, had the idea to do something community based after reading about a woman who lay dead for six years before someone knocked on her door and found her body saying: “that got me depressed”.

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Not long after he tore a tendon playing cricket at his brother’s 50th birthday cricket match last June.

Walking in the park days later he noticed the grapes and apples and asked a passing old man if he knew how to make wine.

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Mr Johnson, an author, broadcaster and sustainability expert, said: “He lived two doors down from me and said the soles of my feet are still red from making wine as a boy and really that was it.

“Paulo Santini is Italian and a walking google app for where the grapes are in Brent. Also all the Italians see each other and in Queens Park they own the benches and word quickly spread amongst them.”

With support from Kensal to Kilburn Transition Team, a local initiative set up to promote sustainablity in the community, they started harvesting different tasting grapes in September which they’d found in nearby streets such as Chevening Road and Peploe Road .

He continued: “We trampled them two weekends running, then began stirring it, pressing it, a whole lot of neighbours from down the street just came and joined.”

They had their first tasting two weeks ago, and when the aging process finishes in April Mr Johnson said there will be a big party.

He added: “That’s the most massive, happiest thing about it. It’s all of us doing it, it’s what I wanted.”

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