Claret and the Claret Jug

We get a lot of questions in the Tasting Room; questions on wine, the vineyard, where does the name RoxyAnn come from (see entry below) and, of course,  where does the name Claret come from?

First things first… The term Claret is an English term, from approximately the 1400’s, to describe a Bordeaux blend (any combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Carmenère).  The 2007 RoxyAnn Claret is a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot, Cab franc and Malbec.

For our golf fans, this week is the week of the British Open.  The Open is played for the Claret Jug.  Research revealed some great history of the Jug.  Here  is the entry reprinted from

Origins of the Claret Jug

How the Claret Jug Came to Be the British Open Trophy

By , Guide

“Why is the British Open trophy called the “Claret Jug,” and what is it’s history?The trophy awarded to the winner of The Open Championship is officially known as the Championship Cup, but it is much more commonly called the “Claret Jug” because, well, it’s a claret jug.

Claret is a dry red wine produced in the famous French winemaking region of Bordeaux. The British Open trophy was made in the style of silver jugs used to serve claret at 19th Century gatherings.

But the winner of The Open Championship hasn’t always received the Claret Jug as the trophy. The first handful of winners were awarded a belt. That’s right, a belt. Or “Challenge Belt,” as it was designated at the time.

The first Open Championship was played in 1860 at Prestwick (now called Royal Prestwick, it’s in Troon, Scotland, just down the road from Royal Troon), and that year also marked the first awarding of the belt.

The belt was made of a wide, red Morocco leather and was adorned with silver buckles and emblems. This (seemingly) gaudy “trophy” might still be the British Open trophy today but for the golfing prowess of Young Tom Morris.

Prestwick hosted each of the first 11 British Opens, awarding the belt each year, which the winner would have to return to the club. But Prestwick’s rules included one that stated that the belt would become the permanent property of any golfer winning the Open Championship in three consecutive years.

When Young Tom Morris won in 1870, it was his third straight victory (he would win a fourth in 1872) and he walked off with the Challenge Belt.

Suddenly, the British Open no longer had a trophy to award. And Prestwick didn’t have the wherewithal to commission one on its own.

So the club members at Prestwick came up with the idea of sharing the Open Championship with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Prestwick proposed that the three clubs take turns staging the Open, and chip-in equally toward the creation of a new trophy.

While the clubs tried to figure out what to do, 1871 came and went without an Open Championship being played. Finally, the clubs agreed to share the Open, and each contributed money for a new trophy.

When Young Tom Morris won the 1872 Open, the trophy had not yet been commissioned. So the 1873 winner – Tom Kidd – was the first to be awarded the Claret Jug.

That original Claret Jug from 1873 has permanently resided at the R&A since 1927. The trophy that is presented to the British Open winner each year is a copy of the original, which the winner gets to keep for a year before returning it to the R&A to be passed on to the next champion.”

The British Open Championship Cup

A bottle of RoxyAnn Claret