Nagano region, Japan (12) Takayashiro Farm

I visited Takayashiro Farm with the president of the company, Ko Takehada, and the winemaker Kenjiro Ikeda. It’s based in Nagano city. Ko Takehada previously worked for a subsidiary company of Suntory selling juice. After he got married he quit Suntory and moved to Nagano, selling liquor wholesale. In 1995 he started to grow all kinds […]

Reflections on smell and life

Saturday was a gorgeous day. That sort of spring day that offers lots of hope – a secret glimpse of summer to come. On Friday night I headed up to Bury St Edmunds where my parents live, in a small village called Horringer. My sisters and I had travelled to spend the night there (just […]

A Portuguese oddity: Quinta de Foz de Arouce Vinhas Velhas 2003

I remember visiting Quinta de Foz de Arouce a few years ago. It’s a really lovely estate in the Beiras region, just south of Bairrada, near coimbra, and I wrote a report on it. The soils are schist and the grape variety here is Baga, and this is the first vintage of a special bottling […]

Two lovely wines at The 10 Cases: Heitz and Gonon

Two lovely wines last night at the brilliant The 10 Cases. The first was a BYO that Gareth Birchley brought along (from Hedonism), and the second was off the list. The list at The 10 Cases is amazing.

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 1992 Napa Valley, California
This is an incredible wine from a slightly different era in […]

Central Otago (14) Domain Road

The home vineyard, Domain Road

Graeme and Gillian Crosbie were, like many Dunedin residents, drawn to Central Otago for summer sunshine. ‘Everyone came to Central Otago for their summer,’ says Graeme, who made his money as a property developer, ‘so we’ve had a house here since 1987. All our adult lives we’ve been interested by […]

In Bordeaux

I’m in Bordeaux. Tomorrow I get to taste most of the top 2017s in bottle, which will be my first look at this vintage. But this afternoon I had a few hours spare, so I wandered around the city on a perfect spring day and took some pictures and made a short film. It’s a […]

Central Otago (13) Akarua

Akarua’s terraced 25 Steps vineyard in Lowborn: one of the most instantly recognisable vineyards in the region

Akarua is an important producer for Central Otago. In a region of small outfits, they are a reasonable size, and of late have been on a vineyard-buying spree. With winemaker Andrew Keenleyside (who fairly recently took over from […]

People, places, landscapes and change

I’m currently intrigued by the idea of being from a place. Thanks to a friend, I discovered the author Robert Macfarlane, and I’m currently working through his book The Old Ways. He’s a gifted writer with an incredible voice, and in this book he takes us on his journeys discovering old paths and routes throughout […]

Central Otago (12) Domaine Rewa

Philippa and Yannick Fourbet

In a privileged site in the Lowburn subdistrict of Central Otago, Domaine Rewa – a small biodynamic vineyard – is turning out some very smart wines. And there’s a great story behind it, too.

Back in 2010, Philippa Shepherd (now Fourbet, but we’ll get to that later) was working for Deutsche Bank […]

The wines of François Lurton

François Lurton

It was great to meet and taste with François Lurton. His father, Andre Lurton, is a very important figure in Bordeaux. Lurton senior, who owns Château Bonnet, was active in establishing the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation and helping improve the quality of the affordable white Bordeaux wines that come from here. The family also own […]