London restaurants (5): The Ledbury

I’ve eaten out a lot. And this was one of the very best experiences I have had. The Ledbury has two Michelin stars, but I can’t imagine a restaurant being any better. I’d been before, on a few occasions, but not for a few years (the last trace I can find of a meal here […]

Sea Star, wines from the Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada

You probably haven’t run into all that many wines from British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. Here’s a producer to look out for, though: Sea Star. They are located on Pender Island, which is in between Vancouver and Victoria at the foot of Vancouver Island, and make wines from grapes grown here and also on neighbouring Saturna […]

Fun in Canada: Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria, for Top Drop

A Harbour Air seaplane flies over the Lion’s Gate bridge, Vancouver

I’ve just been out to Canada to take part in an event called Top Drop, which was held in three cities in the west of the country: Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.

One of Vancouver’s beaches, reached by walking around the Stanley Park sea wall

These […]

Chablis (9) Jean-Paul & Benoît Droin

Benoît Droin

Benoît Droin is A fourteenth generation winegrower in Chablis. The fame of the domaine, which is now regarded as one of the very best in the region, is in large part down to the work of his father, Jean-Paul, who began working here in 1965 at the age of 14, built the domaine’s […]

UK wine: explosive growth in vineyard planting

A press release came out from Wines of Great Britain (WineGB) detailing the latest vineyard planting figures, in advance of English Wine Week, which has just begun.

This year (2019) some three million vines were planted, which is another 690 hectares of vineyards. This is a 24% increase in just one year. In 2018 there […]

Central Otago (16) Amisfield

Dr Stephanie Lambert, winemaker at Amisfield

There was a storm! Trees fell down! It was supposed to be summer, but this particular Friday night didn’t want to go to plan. Over dinner at Amisfield’s restaurant, a few of us gathered. Power was out so it was cold cuts only. And wine. Plenty of wine.

Amisfield are […]

Domaine de Fa, Beaujolais with a northern Rhône twist

Back in 2013 the northern Rhône based Graillot family bought 5 hectares in Beaujolais – a vineyard called En Besset, just at the southern tip of the crus near Saint Amour and Julienas. [They also got their hands on parcels of vines in Fleurie and Saint Amour.] Their farming is organic (certified), and this wine […]

The wines of David Duband, Burgundy

David Duband

I met with David Duband over dinner at Noble Rot. He’s imported into the UK by Keeling Andrews, the agency arm with the same ownership as the restaurant. David is calm and measured, and there was a good energy to the evening as we tasted through wines and chatted.

David’s father, Pierre Duband, began […]

Central Otago (15) Domaine Thomson

David and PM Hall-Jones are based in Hong Kong, but have two wineries: one in Central Otago, and the other in Gevrey Chambertin. In Central, they planted 14 hectares of Pinot Noir in 2000, and their label is called Domaine Thomson.

The view from the Domaine Thomson vineyard, looking down over Pisa to Lake Dunstan

It’s […]

Nagano region, Japan (14) Domaine Sogga/Obusé Winery

This was my second visit with a winery that I’d classify as Nagano’s best at the moment. Domaine Sogga, also known as Obusé Winery, is based in Obusé and is run by Akihiko Soga (just the one ‘g’ in his name, but two in the domaine’s).

Akihiko is fastidious, talented and experienced. The winery is an […]