In New Zealand, day 1: Wanaka, Central Otago - Maude and Rippon

I’m back in Central Otago, for my fourth visit. I’m slowly beginning to understand a little about this remarkable wine region, and yesterday saw a lovely set of visits to four different producers, all of whom are doing something quite special. I’ll write the day up in two batches, beginning with a morning in Wanaka.

In Gippsland with Bill Downie and Patrick Sullivan

Bill Downie

The flight from Adelaide to Melbourne is a short one, and before I knew it I was at the arrivals hall, being greeted by Bill Downie. We headed off to the city for a spot of lunch and to meet with Adi Badenhorst, who was to be joining me for the rest of [...]

The Klopper Basket Range Tour

Visit finished, Ben and I hopped into Anton’s Land Rover Defender. All aboard for a tour of the Basket Range.

The Basket Range is a beautiful corner of the Adelaide Hills, and it is the epicentre for the new wave of interesting, naturally made Australian wine. There’s a fabulous critical mass of winegrowers who are working [...]

In the Adelaide Hills (1) Ngeringa and Anton van Klopper

The Monday morning after Rootstock. I threw all my belongings into a bag, and headed off to Sydney airport on the train. At the gate I bumped into a tired band of Rootstock survivors: Anton van Klopper, Tom Shobbrook, Monique and Annie Millton, and Tim Webber. They are cheerful but deeply weary. Most have had [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights, 3

More Rootstock highlights.

Christian Tschida’s wines, from Burgenland, in Austria, are full of nervous detail and intensity.

Shashi and Devendra Singh have a 4 hectare dry grown Syrah vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula and their Avani Syrah is very fresh and elegant. The 2014 is delightful, and just 11.6% alcohol.

Herzog are not your typical Marlborough (NZ) producer. I [...]

Rootstock Sydney highlights (1)

So Rootstock is half way through. Yesterday was a great day. The energy and enthusiasm for wine shown by all the people who flocked to the Carriageworks was quite electric. And it was fun, too. I can’t understand people who moan about how doomed the wine industry is, and how it needs to produce fruit [...]

A day in Sydney

After a morning coffee and a quick blog, I set about ensuring internet access for the trip. Roaming is just too expensive, even with bundles, so I bought a cheap android phone and 3 gigs of data, and made sure it supported tethering (thank you Telstra for allowing this: a lot of pre-paid data sims [...]

In Hong Kong

I’m in Hong Kong. My first time here. But only for two days, alas.

The reason? I was giving a talk at the Wine Trade Conference at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair. It seems a bit bonkers to fly across the world (and suffer an 8 hour time zone shift) for such a [...]

In South Africa, day 2, Roberston

I woke up on Sunday early but excited. A few lucky people, including me, had been invited to Robertson by three producers: Graham Beck, Springfield and De Wetshof. And we were to fly there on a small plane (a Beechcraft – from looking on the website, I’m pretty sure this was a King Air 350). [...]

In South Africa, day 1

I’m in South Africa, again. No great hardship: I love this country. I arrived on Saturday, and as usual, I’ve found little time to write blog posts, so this will be a brief update from day 1.

I headed to the pretty Stellenbosch Kloof, which is not yet an official subdistrict of this large region, but [...]