The English Wine industry is mourning the loss of Nigel Pargetter who died on Sunday night after falling from the roof of Lower Loxley Hall in the village of Ambridge, Borsetshire.
Nigel was the 'go-to' man in the village on all matters relating to fine wine. A keen enthusiast of Bordeaux and Burgundy, Nigel also produced wine from his own vines at Lower Loxley. Mr Pargetter had long been admired for his indefatigable optimism and was regarded as one of the key men in English regional wine.
Although his death was initially presumed to be an accident, evidence now suggests that foul play may have been involved. The internet is awash with accusations that Vannessa Whitburn (a senior BBC radio editor) murdered Mr Pargetter in a callous act of ratings chasing vandalism.
No one has seen or heard from Whitburn since a bizarre interview with the Today program on the morning after Nigel's fall. In the interview Whitburn confirmed that Mr Pargetter was indeed dead - this before either the police or Nigel's family had provided any official announcement.
Experts have been quick to point out that Whitburn's interview displayed all the characteristics of a sociopathic killer - desire for attention, superiority gained by goading of the public, an inability to admit any wrongdoing.
Whatever the truth of the matter, our thoughts go out to Nigel's wife Elizabeth, their two children and to David Archer who was on the roof with Nigel at the time of his fall.
Nigel's death is a symbolic loss to the world of English wine and a personal loss felt by so many who were glad to have known him. He was indeed "a thoroughly nice bloke".