Canadian Wine at Vancouver winefest: Ontario Pinot Noir

This session at the Vancouver wine festival focused on Pinot Noir from Ontario. ‘It’s a difficult place to grow Pinot,’ says John Szabo, who led the session. ‘There are realities to growing Pinot Noir. It is expensive to grow and it doesn’t always work out well.’

Altogether there are 17 000 acres of vines in Ontario, [...]

Canadian wine at the Vancouver winefest: wines from British Columbia

More Canadian wine at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. This tasting was a tour of British Columbia’s wine regions with a star panel ably led by Rhys Pender. Taking part were Michael Bartier of Bartier Bros, Nikki Callaway of Quail’s Gate, JAK Meyer of Meyer Family Vineyards, David Paterson of Tantalus and Chris Turyk of [...]

Canadian wine at the Vancouver winefest: star whites from Ontario

I’m currently in Vancouver at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Apparently, this is North America’s longest running and largest wine festival. So far it has been really interesting. Each year there is a theme country, and because it is Canada’s 150th anniversary, Canada is the theme. So I’ll be writing up my Canadian wine experiences, beginning [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some favourites from Central Otago and Waitaki

Continuing my round up of top Pinot Noirs from the recent New Zealand trip, here are some favourites from Central Otago, with a couple from North Otago’s Waitaki thrown in too. I’ve been coming to Central Otago regularly since 2010, and there’s been a steady evolution. This is unsurprising: after all, the first commercial wine [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: top examples from North Canterbury and Martinborough

Continuing with my trawl through the exciting New Zealand Pinot scene, here are some of my favourite wines from North Canterbury (which includes Waipara, Waikiri and the Cheviot Hills) and Wellington Wine Country (the new name for the Wairarapa regions, which include Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton). Not all wines are rated here, and there are [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some top examples from Marlborough

I’ve tasted a lot of New Zealand Pinot Noir over recent weeks. Here are some of my favourite picks from Marlborough. This is New Zealand’s largest wine region, and it has more Pinot Noir (2400 hectares) than any other region (Central Otago is second with 1500 hectares). The best sites are in the Southern Valleys [...]

First impressions matter, with people and with wine

First impressions count. I’m increasingly convinced of this.

The first line of a novel. It matters more than it should.

The first time you meet someone: this is particularly important.

The first impression you give when you meet someone – those first few seconds – then create the filter through which all subsequent interactions are processed. Some people [...]

New Zealand Pinot Gris, a masterclass

Dom Maxwell (Greystone, above left) and Emma Jenkins (above right) presented this masterclass on Pinot Gris from New Zealand. It’s a grape that has been neglected by wine geeks. This is because it is so often a grape used to please the masses, fashioning inoffensive Pinot Grigio-style wines with little personality. In New Zealand, it [...]

Pinot Noir: the alchemy of people, place and time

This is a written version of a talk I’m giving today at the Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir celebration.

Pinot Noir is the grape variety that seems to inspire the most devotion in wine lovers. Finding great Pinot is a lifetime quest, filled with challenges and disappointments. But the highs make this quest worthwhile, and there is [...]

Forage North Canterbury, an amazing food and wine event, with a film

 

Where does our food come from? I was recently in the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury, to take part in a remarkable event called Forage. There’s a film of it (above). The genius of forage is that it connects wine and food and links them both firmly to place.

South Bay, Kaikoura

We arrived early at [...]