A (bad) day in the life of a wine writer

I’m currently in Canada. I’ve just spent four wonderful days in the Okanagan Valley, but when it came time to leave, things didn’t go so well. Maybe I should have just stayed there?

The day began with an alarm set for 0450.

0510: get into my hire car and head to Penticton Airport, for my 0625 Westjet […]

Okanagan (2) Time Winery

Time is an urban winery located in downtown Penticton, and it opened its doors in summer 2018. Previously, was located in Oliver in the south of the Okanagan, where it had 60 acres of vines in a beautiful setting. This setting appealed to the well-heeled Richter Bai when he was deciding where to put […]

Nagano Region, Japan (16) a tasting of top Nagano wines

On the last day of my Nagano trip I was in Nagano city for an overview tasting. This invlolved some of the top Nagano wines. Most of the winemakers were present, and I was asked to taste the wines then share my opinions with everyone. This puts you on the spot a bit! Some nice […]

Scout Wines, a new Marlborough-based producer

Scout Wines is a bi-locational virtual winery that began life in Australia, but is currently based in New Zealand. It’s a collaboration between partners in life and wine, Sarah Adamson (above) and Greg Lane, and it all began in 2017 in the Adelaide Hills when Sarah was working at Deviation Road and Greg at Shaw […]

Canada's Okanagan Valley hits London

High-end London department store Selfridges has just listed a bunch of wines from Canada’s Okanagan Valley. Chief buyer, Terry Threlfall, hails from British Columbia, so it’s nice to see him supporting his own crew. As someone who has spent a lot of time getting to know Canada’s wine regions, I think this is an exciting […]

Chablis (13) La Chablisienne

La Chablisienne is the only cooperative in the region, but it’s an important player here. Regions are well served if they have a good cooperative, because these are often the first wines that the average consumer meets. If the coop is doing good work, this protects equity in the regional brand.

Despite a recent bout of […]

Chablis (12) Domaine Oudin

Nathalie Oudin

Thirty-five years ago, Jean-Claude and Christiane Oudin returned to their roots in Chablis. They had good jobs in Paris, but they were stressful, and the thought of building up a domaine and being winegrowers was very appealing. Christiane’s father had a couple of hectares in the small village of Chichée, just south of […]

The £6 Orange Natural Wine

Cramele Recas is a large winery in Romania well known for its astutely made commercial wines. Last year they began making an affordable orange wine, and this, the second vintage, is on the shelf at £6 in Asda (a UK supermarket). It spends 20 days on skins, and has no added sulfites.

I’m impressed by it, […]

Okanagan (1) Sage Hills and Keenan

Sage Hills is a relatively new Okanagan winery. The vineyard, beautifully situated on a lake-facing hill in Summerland, was purchased by Vancouver property developer Rick Thrussell in 2006. At the time, it was a rather run-down apricot farm that had been abandoned for a decade, and Rick planted 7 acres of vines on the site, […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (10) Te Awanga Estate

Rod McDonald

I visited Rod McDonald in his beautifully situated winery in Te Awanga. This is a cool, coastal part of Hawke’s Bay that’s getting quite a reputation for its Chardonnay. Rod started his own wine company, Rod McDonald wines, back in 2006, and in 2016 he changed the name of the project to Te […]