On the road in Tokaj, Hungary

It fills me with a sense of childish excitement when I visit a new wine region. I’ve said it before, and likely I will say it again, that it is when you visit a region that the penny drops: all the book learning and knowledge of the wines falls into place, and you begin to [...]

In Canada, day 2

A great day in Niagara wine country. 58 wines tasted at four different wineries. Lots learned. Helicopters flown in: 1.

The day started at Southbrook Vineyards, which was Canada’s first certified biodynamic wine producer. It’s an impressive, modern LEED-certified winery, too. I met with winemakers Ann Sperling and Brian Hamilton (above), and we tasted through a [...]

In Canada, day 1

So, I am in Canada. For one night only, I’m staying in the very pretty resort town of Niagara on the Lake. I got here about 4 pm yesterday, arriving in beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s. The first thing I did was check the test match score (England pulled off a thrilling [...]

In Israel

Uri Hetz, Naama Sorkin and Gaby Sadan

Until yesterday, my experience of Israel’s wines was pretty limited. But yesterday I spent a day in northern Israel’s wine country, visiting producers and learning a lot.

This was followed by a dinner in Akko, at Uri Buri restaurant, with some winemakers. It was a remarkable day.

Today I pay [...]

A day in the Languedoc

I spent today in the Languedoc, doing some work. The work was actually quite enjoyable: I was tasting a selection of 90 of the estate wines from Les Grands Chais de France, with a view to selecting 12 ‘ambassadors’ – wines that Grands Chais could use to show to the press and trade what they [...]

In South Africa, day 1 Graham Beck and Delaire Graff

I land at 8 am and I’m met at the airport by Nicolette Waterford, South African wine PR star, who has arranged for me to visit two of her clients. Nicolette’s husband Darryl owns a helicopter charter form, so we are travelling in style, along with Graham Beck winemaker Erika Obermeyer.

After an amazing flight over [...]

In South Africa

I’m in South Africa. More later. For now, a few pictures!

New Zealand, day 3, in Nelson with Neudorf

Judy and Tim Finn, Nelson pioneers, who established Neudorf in 1978

I worked out that since November 2008, my first visit to New Zealand, I have visited five times in five years. That’s a significant accrual of air miles. But over the course of these visits, I’d never visited Nelson, so as I picked up [...]

In New Zealand, day 1, Central Otago

It was hard to get my head round the contrast. One day I’m shivering in a snowy, dark-skied London. The next, I’m sitting on an internal flight crossing the dividing range in New Zealand’s South Island, looking down at dramatic snow-capped peaks in laser-sharp light on my way to Queenstown, Central Otago.

I very nearly missed [...]

Dinner at Bistrot Le Cuisinier, Blois (Loire)

I’m currently in the Loire for a quick visit to give a talk about the science of Sauvignon, with my buddy Sam Harrop who for the last few years has been involved in a very interesting Sauvignon project with InterLoire.

Last night we had a lovely dinner at Bistrot Le Cuisinier, in the pretty town of [...]