A night at Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia

The judging team from the National Wine Awards of Canada were hosted at Nova Scotian winery Benjamin Bridge last night. It was the best of maritime hospitality. Owner Gerry McConnell has sourced enormous quantities of the best lobster I’d ever tasted, which we devoured greedily, washed down with the fabulous Benjamin Bridge sparkling wines.

Gerry […]

Loire adventure: Melaric, Saumur

It may have been May, but it felt like November as we arrived at Melaric in Saumur. It was cold, blustery and the rain beat down incessantly on the roof as we talked and tasted. This is the project of Mélanie and Aymeric Hilaire (above, in his cellar), two young vignerons whose fused names create […]

Some more observations on Nova Scotia wine

So, some more thoughts about Nova Scotia wine. Sparkling is the direction for the future here. There will always be a local market for the Tidal Bay whites, and similar hybrid-based clean, fruity, appealing lighter-style wines. There will even be a strictly local future for the well made, chunky hybrid reds. But this is a […]

In Nova Scotia, Canada

For the last four days I have been in Nova Scotia, Canada. My primary reason for visiting was to take part in the Atlantic Wine Symposium, but I also had a couple of days to tour around wine country here. This supplemented a visit last September. Vines were first planted here in the early 1980s, […]

Michelle Bouffard on Canadian wine at MUST 2017


‘We don’t live in igloos and polar bears are not our best friends,’ began Michelle Bouffard, in her talk that introduced the audience to Canadian wine. ‘We have rattlesnakes.’ Canada’s wine industry struggles to get past ice wine in the perception of consumers outside the country. But there’s now a significant, diverse offering of Canadian […]

Lulie Halstead on Millennials and the wine market, at MUST 2017

Lulie Halstead of Wine Intelligence gave an interesting talk on Millennials, and whether or not we make too much of them in marketing discussions. ‘It’s a topic we often get asked to speak about,’ she said. Millennials are people born between 1981 and 1995, which means that they are currently 21-35 years old. The previous […]

José Vouillamoz on grape varieties, at MUST 2017

It was great to hear José Vouillamoz present at MUST. He’s a plant scientist with a special interest in grape varieties, and this was the subject of his talk. He began with the news that soon there will be a new edition of Wine Grapes, the reference book he authored together with Julia Harding and […]

Felicity Carter on the importance of wine tourism, at MUST

Continuing with the MUST fermenting ideas summit, I was impressed by Felicity Carter’s talk on the importance of wine tourism.

‘Journalists love catastrophes of all kinds,’ began Felicity, before outlining why she thinks the wine industry could be facing catastrophe if it doesn’t embrace wine tourism.

‘I’m going to start off with the worst wine tour in […]

Alice Feiring on Natural Wine at Must 2017, Cascais, Portugal

I’m in Estoril (next to Cascais, on the coast, near Lisbon), Portugal, for the inaugural MUST fermenting ideas wine summit. Things kicked off yesterday with a talk by Alice Feiring, on Natural Wine. It was a good place to start.

‘I’m much more comfortable in front of a computer than an audience,’ began Alice, as she […]

Roulot: how Jean-Marc makes some of the most compelling white Burgundies of all

I had the pleasure of meeting Jean-Marc Roulot yesterday. Roulot has established himself as one of the superstars of white Burgundy – the new Coche, if you will. The wines are beautiful, and now quite hard to get hold of as their fame has spread. I first became aware of them from Raj Parr, who […]