Libiamo Amphora Chenin Blanc 2017 Gisborne, New Zealand

This is quite special. It’s an amphora-fermented Chenin Blanc with a dash of Marsanne, that’s on its skins for 222 days, and then pressed and bottled unfiltered with minimal SO2 added. It’s made by Millton in Gisborne, the biodynamic pioneers of New Zealand. This is the third bottle of this wine I’ve drunk, so it’s […]

Resisting the puritans

When I was much younger, one of my favourite TV shows was the Rowan Atkinson comedy Black Adder, and of the various series, the second, set in Elizabethan England, was perhaps the funniest. In one episode his puritanical aunt and her husband came to dinner, and in this classic comedy of errors Black Adder is […]

Cape Wine (7) some more highlights

Some more of the goodies tasted at Cape Wine. Some old friends and new acquaintances.

Carinus Rooidrai Chenin Blanc 2017 Swartland, South Africa
From 37 year old vines, this is fermented in 500 litre used French oak barrels. Textured and really fine, showing bright linear, elegant pear and citrus fruit with great tension and precision. Showing real […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (4) Collaboration Wines

Julianne Brogden is only 40, but she’s already been making wines for 23 years now. She’s Hawke’s Bay born and bred, and worked briefly in the region, before heading out on vinous travel.

Julianne Brogden, Collaboration Wines

She ended up spending 8 years in the Napa Valley, California, where she initially worked a vintage at Havens […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (3) Ash Ridge

In 2000, Chris Wilcock bought a peach orchard in the Bridge Pa district of Hawke’s Bay. At the time, he was working as a banker (he had spells in Switzerland, Singapore and Australia), and initially he didn’t put any vineyards in. Then in 2005 he decided to plant 8 of the 9 hectares, and two […]

New York State (5) Glenora Cellars

Glenora is one of the wineries that was established as a result of the Farm Winery Act in 1976, which made running a winery a possibility for smaller operators.

Winemaking is in the hands of Steve di Francesco makes the wines here and also at Knapp, which is part of the same group. They also own […]

Hawke's Bay New Zealand (2) Ant Mackenzie, Craft Farm

Ant Mackenzie, Craft Farm

Ant Mackenzie has been a winemaker for other people for his whole career, but of late he’s begun making wines under his own name. His first winemaking job was at Framingham in Marlborough, and then he moved to Spy Valley, and his final stint in Marlborough was as group winemaker for […]

New York State (4) Fulkerson Winery

Steven Fulkerson

The Fulkerson family have quite a history. The name itself is uniquely American, but the family have dutch roots. They came to the USA in 1680 and helped establish new Amsterdam, owning a farm on what is now Manhattan.

We met with the engaging Steven Fulkerson. One of his ancestors, Caleb, fought in the […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (1) Tony Bish and the Urban Winery

Tony Bish made his reputation as winemaker for Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay. While he remains a consultant and a shareholder in the company, his interests have moved away from the direction that Sacred Hill have taken (they now have a large focus on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and crushed 7000 tons last vintage in the […]

Sowing seeds of change

Kaikoura, New Zealand. The 2016 earthquake lifted the sea bed significantly

We live in a complicated, turbulent world.

I guess it has always been complicated and turbulent. Every generation seems to think things have deteriorated a bit. But the world does seem particularly troubled at the moment, although I understand completely the perspective effect: we see […]