Photos of fynbos

On my recent trip to South Africa I was really taken by the fynbos, the native vegetation of the Western Cape. From a distance it looks like Mediterranean scrubland, but if you look a bit closer you can see why fynbos is famous for being one of the most diverse types of vegetation around. The [...]

Making coffee: my new toy

I’m not a coffee geek. But I am interested in coffee, although I know there’s a great deal to learn about the subject (including some juicy flavour chemistry).

I’ve just written up a seminar I attended some time back given by coffee expert James Hoffmann (you can read this here). The write-up was prompted by my [...]

Gatti Lorenzo Raboso - something a little different

One thing I love about the world of wine is its diversity. Here’s an Italian wine that stretches the boundaries of that diversity, and I love it.

Gatti Lorenzo Raboso NV IGT Marca Trevigiana, Italy
Very interesting: a fresh, vibrant, joyous gastronomic red. It has a fresh cherryish nose with some appley notes and a bit of meatiness. [...]

Two high-end southern French reds

The south of France, with its varying appellations, was one of the first wine regions that I fell in love with. I still retain an affection for the likes of Pic St Loup, Corbieres, Faugeres and Cotes du Roussillon, but it’s ages since I have visited – something I should try to address next year. [...]

Iona Sauvignon: one of South Africa's best

One of the many highlights of my recent South African trip was a visit to the cool-climate region of Elgin, where we were hosted by Andrew and Rozy Gunn at Iona. Their 2010 Sauvignon is quite brilliant, and so it was nice to have a chance to try it again here in the UK.

Iona Sauvignon [...]

Rosie's new arrival

I arrived back from Chile this morning to find out that Rosie The Labradoodle had given birth at 0815.

Just one puppy – a girl, and she looks like she’ll be quite curly. It’s quite a change from the eight we had two years ago, and with all the costs involved we’ll be losing money this [...]

Some thoughts on Chile

I’m now on my way home from what has been one of the most enjoyable and interesting press trips that I have been on. So, stuck here delayed in Buenos Aires, here are some of my random thoughts prompted by the trip.

First, it was fantastic fun. My travelling companions were brilliant. Peter Richards, Chris Losh, [...]

Elqui: visiting the Tololo observatory

On Saturday morning we drove up to the Tololo observatory. Elqui is famous for its clear skies and lack of light pollution – a perfect place for a light telescope, and the Tololo observatory (website here) has a few of them.

The biggest has a mirror shaped like a donut, 4.1 metres in size, and can [...]

Some Chile photographs

Seen some amazing things over the last few days.

A vineyard in Elqui at 2000 metres, in the Andes

The Elqui Valley

Tabali’s amazing new vineyard in Limari, on limestone, near the coast (above), and Vina Leyda’s new vineyards in Leyda (below).

A quick post from the road – wonderful experiences

Too much to write about. Too little time. And too slow an internet connection to post photographs.

The last two days have been incredible. I have learned a great deal. I have seen three new (to me) wine regions – ones that I had heard of, tasted wines from, but not seen.

Leyda, Limari and Elqui are [...]