The Vintners Society was founded at Downside School in the Lent Term of 1960 by Peter Dominic Dauthieu (S61) and Peter Fussell (Hon OG).

The first Raven report on the Vintners Society includes Dom Vincent Cavanagh as Patron, Dom Columba Thorne as President and Peter Dominic himself as secretary. It is explained as a society for those ‘interested in learning about wine in all its aspects’. The Vintners Society has been a longstanding tradition at Downside since that time with its most recent event being held in 2016. This, however, has not led to the society being forgotten. It is planned, that with help from an Upper Sixth in Barlow House, and an Old Gregorian Parent that the society may see itself back at Downside soon.

This post is written in memory of Peter Dominic Dauthieu who sadly lost his life on Thursday 16th December 2022. Requiescat in pace.

Peter Dominic was born into the wine trade in 1944 shortly after his father, Paul Andre Dauthieu, established one of the UK’s leading high street wine specialised chains, Peter Dominic. His family ties with the wine trade, alongside Peter Fussell’s admiration for the finer things allowed the two to come together to create a long-standing society at Downside. His involvement in the wine trade continued long after his time at School. His ultimate brands, beyond the great Spanish & Portuguese wines he traded in the UK, were his wit, charm & entrepreneurial courage, effortlessly generating hoorays & olés in equal measure. To read more about Peter’s life please read articles from The Drinks Business and Diario de Jerez.