New York Wines (18) Thirsty Owl, Finger Lakes

The origin of Thirsty Owl was 200 acres of land belonging to Bob and Mary Plane who were instrumental in pushing for the NY Farm Winery Act, which made it feasible for grape growers to open wineries back in the 1970s when the dominant big companies were dropping contracts. They were grape suppliers, and after […]

New York Wine (19) Osmote, Finger Lakes

Ben Riccardo, Osmote

Osmote is one of our finds from the New York trip. It’s the project of Ben Riccardi, who grew up in New York State (born in Ithaca, and studied at Cornell), but has travelled the wine world widely. His winemaking CV includes stints in New Zealand, France, Australia, California and Chile.

He spent […]

Some nice wines from small importer Tiger Vines

Tiger Vines is a small import business run by James Thomas. He worked with Domaine Laroche, then spent two years at Majestic Wine, three years at Bibendum and eight years with Billecart-Salmon UK. His philosophy with Tiger Vines is to find the most tenanted producers working with great terroirs, and he began with Champagne and the US West […]

Alternative Bordeaux (4) organic farming in the Cru Bourgeois

Jérôme Bibey, Ch Labadie

The Médoc is at the heart of Bordeaux. As well as the 60 Grand Cru Classé estates that sit at the top of the hierarchy of vineyards, there are another 280 estates that compete each year to be part of the Cru Bourgeois selection. In the next part of the Alternative […]

New York Wines (17) Boundary Breaks, Finger Lakes

Bruce Murray, Boundary Breaks

Bruce Murray comes from central New York. A few years ago he enjoyed one of Germany’s leading Rieslings (a Spatlese from Nahe genius Helmut Dononnhof Riesling Spatlese with a Thai meal at the Lotus of Siam in Los Vegas. ‘This was a pairing and experience I never forgot,’ he says. He […]

New York Wine (16) Swedish Hill, Finger Lakes

The story at Swedish Hill is a common one in the Finger Lakes. Grapes were planted here for Taylor Wines, and then in the 1970s with their demise these grapes had no home. So Swedish Hill was one of those properties who put in a winery in order to use the grapes.

The industry at the […]

Be a wave catcher

There’s a lot of luck involved in success. I think it’s Gary Player, the legendary South African golfer, who came up with the famous line: ‘the more I practice the luckier I get.’

It’s a good philosophy to have. Rather than blaming others for our lack of success, it gets us working hard and persevering in […]

Mining the seam

The world is changing fast. Nothing is forever: we know that. But the pace of change seems to increase every decade. Sometimes it seems that change is so rapid that it’s hard to keep up. And cope with it, to. It messes with your head.

Technology has been the driver for a lot of the recent […]

Three Portuguese reds

Portugal is such an interesting wine country. These are three interesting wines that I’ve recently tried. The Almeida Garret is superb value, especially.

Alves de Sousa Quinta da Gaivosa 2015 Douro, Portugal
14.5% alcohol. Dense, ripe and nicely structured. Sweet plum, blackberry and cherry fruit with herbs and spices. This is a rich style of Douro, but […]

Greek wine: two Xinomavros from Markovitis

Xinomavro classifies as an interesting grape variety in my book. It makes wines that seem to taste a bit like Nebbiolo, and so it was a treat to try these two from Markovitis, one old and one a bit younger. They’re so lovely. UK agent is Indigo.

Markovitis Winery Xinomavro 2012 Naoussa, Greece
13.5% alcohol. This is […]