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

Franconia

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 [...]

In the Tejo region of Portugal

I’ve spent the day in the Tejo region of Portugal. I left my hotel at 0745 and arrived back past 11 pm. During that time I visited six producers, had lunch, and had dinner, so there was no free time and I have only enough energy left for a quick blog post. With some pictures.

The [...]

Bordeaux: some reflections

I’ve just spent a very enjoyable couple of days in Bordeaux. The first was a free afternoon (I walked and walked), followed by dinner; the second a big tasting of the 2014 vintage. So here are some thoughts about Bordeaux, in no particular order.

First, this is a lovely city to visit. The changes enacted under [...]

Visiting Château Marquis d'Alesme, Margaux, for the opening of a grand winery

Last night I was one of a group who visited Château Marquis d’Alesme on the occasion of the opening of their new winery in Margaux.

The winery

The estate, which has 15 hectares of vines, was bought by Hubert Perrodo in 2006. Perrodo, a French national, built up a successful petrochemical company (Perenco), of which he [...]

In California, day 4 - Napa Valley with Peter Michael, Corison, Trinchero, Silverado and Chimney Rock

Les Pavots, Kinghts Valley

Day four of the California trip. By now, the group was certainly performing, and this was to be one of our strongest days in terms of banter and general foolery. Of course, we were utterly professional. But bus banter is so important for a trip like this, and everyone played their [...]