Adventures in New Zealand's South Island

The stunning Milford Sound, which is actually a fjord

I’m just back from a rather magical few days in the South Island of New Zealand, a trip which took in two wine events (the Hanmer Southern Pinot workshop and Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration), and some sightseeing. We drove down to Hanmer on the newly […]

The stunning Te Mata Peak

On Saturday morning, Craggy Range’s Brand Manager Hannah Burns took me up Te Mata Peak. It was supposed to be a run, but this is incredibly steep, so we walked most and ran a bit. It’s truly spectacular, and fortunately the weather turned it on. This is a chunk of marine limestone that rises 400 […]

Chile day 2, Errazuriz's Aconcagua Costa property

Day two of the Chile trip was spent in the Aconcagua, with Errazuriz. We began at the relatively new 230 hectare (of planted vines) Aconcagua Costa property, just 12 km from the Pacific. Here they have planted 250 hectares. Initially they began with Sauvignon Blanc (planting in 2005), but then realised that the climate (quite […]

In Texas, for Texsom

I’m in Texas. First time for me. I’m here for Texsom, which is a really important conference in the north American wine scene. I’m here to conduct a 3 hour tasting of aged South African wines, which will be taking place in just over an hour’s time. I’ve been up since 4 am working on […]

In the Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada

The Similkameen Valley is a peaceful yet dramatic place. Running parallel to the Okanagan, it lacks the lakes, but makes up scenery wise by being hemmed in moodily by mountains. It’s named after the Similkameen River that runs through it. The valley has an almost alpine feel, and I reckon this is one of the […]

On the road in Germany, part 2: Ahr, Rheingau, Nahe and Rheinhessen

It was raining when we woke in the Mosel, and the rain continued most of the way on our journey to the Ahr Valley. It had mostly cleared by the time we reached this beautiful, but tiny wine region – Germany’s most northerly, and, surprisingly perhaps, one devoted to Pinot Noir. The day before the […]

From the road in Germany


Just the briefest of blog posts this morning from what is turning into a truly enlightening but also incredibly fast-paced trip. The only downtime we have had so far is lengthy bus journeys between the various German wine regions, which are spread out quite a bit.

Sebastian and Paul Fürst

We began at Fürst, in […]

In Beaujolais: Mee Godard, Domaine des Marrans, Bernard Metrat

Mee Godard started her own domaine just three years ago. She’s previously studied winemaking in Oregon, and worked in Burgundy and Champagne. Now she has 5 hectares of vines in three different Morgon Climats: Côte du Py, Corcelette and Grand Cras.

Côte du Py, Morgon

This year she’s begun to work organically in the vines, although […]

In Beaujolais: Chaize, Lapierre and Lapalu

Day one in Beaujolais began at Château de la Chaize in Brouilly, the largest and most diverse of the crus. It’s a proper Château, too. Grand and ornate with beautiful gardens, and a separate, exceptionally long winery. This has to be one of the longest wineries I have ever seen, and I have seen a […]

In Cape Town, the first evening: Meerlust, Villiera, Mossop and Nuy

I’m in Cape Town. I’ve come to judge the Top 100 South African wines competition, which is now in its sixth year. This year, for the first time, we’re not at Rodwell House (it has been sold), so I’m staying in Vredehoek, on the outskirts of the city. It’s a pretty place, and last night […]