Ed Woodward Manchester county Barnes sports love man Ed Woodward Manchester county Barnes

Ed Woodward: ‘Football and wine both have a rhythm of seasonality’

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www.telegraph.co.uk

Manchester United, Ed Woodward used to buy the managers a case of wine if they beat any of the top six teams at home and away in a season. 'Louis [van Gaal] wanted Vega Sicilia,' he says, 'José [Mourinho] wanted Barca Velha.

Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] had Vega Sicilia as well, actually. So all Iberian wines, funnily enough.' Now, on a baking hot Saturday in July, Woodward is on the village green in Barnes, south-west London, holding a glass of wine from his own - Portuguese - vineyard, manning a stall at the summer fair amid bric-a-brac and hurdy-gurdy music.It's a long way from the boardrooms of England's biggest football club, yet he seems utterly in his element, a beam on his face as he deals with the 'big orange crisis' (the orange slices for the white port and tonic won't fit in the glass). 'I've never done this before, no,' he says, while his wife, Isabelle, calmly multitasks (their seven-year-old twins are also here). 'And I love it!'The couple bought Quinta da Pedra Alta four years ago as a family project.

A big, wildly beautiful estate up in the hills of the Douro Valley, the region where port is made but which is increasingly known for red and white table wines too, Pedra Alta is remote, set back from the Douro river. 'You can't see a single car from there,' says Isabelle.

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