Australia's Mr Wine, Leonard Paul Evans, 75, died this morning in the car park of the hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales where he'd gone to collect his much-loved wife Trish. We had had a wonderfully convivial dinner at Loggerheads, the house he built himself in the Hunter Valley, last night when he was in great form – ever the genial host.
I shall be writing more, probably much more, about Len's Last Supper (which I would have written about anyway) and this extraordinary legend in his own lifetime, but thought that those not in Australia would want to know about the extinction of this unparalleled force in the world of wine as soon as possible. A 'bloody good' celebration of his life is planned at Tower in the Hunter at 11am on Saturday 16 September.
Nick, who had lunch with him on Monday and spent some time with him on Tuesday, and I feel very sad but very privileged to have known him.