The Hatch Mansfield family across the world are mourning the loss of our great friend and work colleague, Philip Tuck MW. Philip was killed on Thursday morning in Burgundy whilst out cycling with his son Felix and their friend Tom. His early death, at the age of 59, is a tragedy. At this time, our thoughts are with his wife Kate, Felix and his family.
As one of the founding members of Hatch, alongside Pierre Henry Gagey, Eduardo Chadwick, George Fistonich, Mark Calver, Adam Hodgson, Carol Sturch, Neville Taylor and I, we all had the privilege of working alongside Philip for the last 30 years. He played a huge role in the growth of Hatch, working tirelessly to develop the sales and distribution of our wines across the many varied sectors of the trade.
Philip’s passion for wine meant that he built incredibly strong personal relationships with all his customers and our suppliers from around the world, many of whom became firm friends. Testament to this is the fact that he was as respected by the Waitrose wine buying team as he was by his friends at Winos and D Byrne & Co.
My colleagues and I at Hatch have been inundated with so many touching messages of shock, disbelief, sorrow and indeed grief. All of these messages are dominated by words of love and respect for Philip. I can sense the tears flowing as many people have typed their thoughts and mine have certainly flowed when responding. The common theme is that no one can comprehend that he has suddenly been taken from us all far too early – life can be so cruel.
Philip was an immensely kind, loyal and considerate man. Our friend and colleague, Rupert Ponsonby, encapsulated him perfectly with the words, “in an age when we are all taught to be the same, Philip was gloriously his own man”. Philip’s dry sense of humour meant he had that rare ability to laugh at himself and his mischievous grin will forever remain etched in our memories.
Philip became an MW in 1999 and from the moment he passed the exam he devoted the rest of his life to helping other prospective MW students. I have received countless messages from people to say that it was Philip who was responsible for helping them pass the exam, although I am not sure that they felt that way when he had demolished their tasting notes in front of the other students!
Aside from being very involved with the IMW, Philip was an active member of the Wine Trade Sports Club. Philip loved his golf and cricket and will no doubt be looking down from heaven fuming that the great British summer has let the Aussies off the hook at Old Trafford! He was also a very active vintner and I know he was really looking forward to getting more involved in the coming years. It is so sad that he cannot fulfil his wish.
Philip will be missed by so many people across the world of wine. All the team at Hatch are devastated by his death but we are so grateful that he was part of our lives and that we had the privilege of calling him our friend. The one consolation is that he died doing what he loved in his spiritual home.
We will miss him dearly.