Rootstock Sydney highlights (2)

Yes, there were a lot of highlights at Rootstock. It feels entirely unfair to pick out individual wines or producers. After all I didn’t taste everything, despite my best intentions. And I’d have to write dozens of blog posts to give all the interesting wines justice. Despite these reservations, I will share some more of [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (1)

So Rootstock is half way through. Yesterday was a great day. The energy and enthusiasm for wine shown by all the people who flocked to the Carriageworks was quite electric. And it was fun, too. I can’t understand people who moan about how doomed the wine industry is, and how it needs to produce fruit [...]

A day in Sydney

After a morning coffee and a quick blog, I set about ensuring internet access for the trip. Roaming is just too expensive, even with bundles, so I bought a cheap android phone and 3 gigs of data, and made sure it supported tethering (thank you Telstra for allowing this: a lot of pre-paid data sims [...]

In Sydney, day 1. Grasped by the shoulder!

Moon on the wing tip, flying into Sydney this morning

I have just arrived in Sydney, and while sitting drinking my first flat white of the trip, I jotted down some thoughts, prompted by the following lines in a book I was reading on the flight, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars.

Nobody grasped [...]

Gamay 16, Pearl Morissette Cuvée Mon Unique Gamay 2013 Lincoln Lakeshore, Niagara, Canada

I’ve reviewed the wines of Niagara (Canada) winery Pearl Morissette before. I’ve been lucky to visit three times, and I love the brave, creative approach of Francois Morissette, who’s making some really interesting wines. One of the four varieties he specializes in is Gamay (the others are Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Franc), and this is [...]

Off to Australia for Rootstock

So I’m off to Australia. Should be in the sky right now, somewhere between London and Singapore. Boarded the plane (BA0015), sat there for 2 hours, and then deplaned (is that really a verb?) because of a technical fault with the in flight entertainment system. Apparently, passengers will die if they don’t have access to [...]

Exton Park: another top quality English sparkling wine producer

Exton Park is based in the Meon Valley, in Hampshire’s South Downs. With its chalky soils, this area is rapidly becoming a hot spot for sparkling wine production, with Hambledon and Coates & Seely close by.

The first vineyards at Exton Park were planted in 2003. In 2009, just as a second planting phase had taken [...]

Lo-Fi Wines Cinsault 2014 Santa Barbara County, California

I was really taken by this. And especially by the label. It’s from Mike Roth, who was winemaker with Martian Ranch until 2014, and then launched his own label, Lo-Fi. I really like Mike’s mission statement, particularly about making wines that aren’t too expensive, so normal people can drink them. Some of the wines from [...]

Adega d'Aruga Bosque 2014 Yamanashi, Japan

This is a lovely wine that I got to try this week courtesy of winemaker Youki Hirayama, who was over to judge at the International Wine Challenge. I reviewed one of his other wines a while back. This is a 100% Koshu, Japan’s indigenous variety that’s been grown in the Yamanashi region for some 1200 years. [...]

Black Dog Hill: an interesting new English sparkling wine

This is the first release from a new English sparkling wine producer, Black Dog Hill. This is a vineyard based in Ditchling, East Sussex, at the foot of the South Downs. Here, the three Champagne varieties are grown on chalky soils, and the 5 hectares of vines were planted in 2007.

This wine was disgorged in [...]