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 [...]

In Napa, the final day

Unbelievably, I am now at San Francisco International on my way home, and the Napa trip is over. It went in the blink of an eye, at warp speed. I think the limited sleep time and three strong shifts at Ana’s Cantina (the two were correlated) probably helped move things on so fast.

Carneros

We were split [...]

Some wine highlights so far from Napa

Over the last few days we’ve tasted quite a few wines. It seems a bit unfair to pick favourites, but here are is a personal selection of some highlights.

Antica Townsend Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Atlas Peak, Napa
This is from the Foss Valley, which is a valley in the Atlas Peak AVA above Napa Valley, at [...]

In Napa

So, I’m in the Napa Valley. This is actually day 3 (we arrived on Monday afternoon): I would have posted something earlier, but it has been full on with barely a moment to spare. So just some pictures and captions will have to suffice for now. Our first appointment took us into the hills out [...]

In Tampere, Finland, for a wine symposium

I’m in Tampere – Finland’s third largest city, on an isthmus between two lakes. It’s described as the Manchester of Finland, because of its industrial past. And in the gorgeous August sunshine, it looks quite nice.

I’m here for the Wine Symposium, which has been organized by the Finnish Sommeliers Association. Yesterday was Day 1, and I [...]

Washington State wine adventure, day 4

Day 4 of this Washington State wine adventure was full of incident and fun. This is really proving to be an interesting trip, with lots of contrasts. We began at Pacific Rim, with winemaker Steven Sealock (above, tasting tanks with Richard and Treve). The story? Way back when, Randall Grahm did some graduate work in [...]

Washington State wine adventures, day 3

Day three of this trip began with Butch Milbrandt. A fourth generation farmer, Butch and his brother Jerry began farming together in 1969, and seeing the success of wine grapes in eastern Washington, they decided to take the plunge into grape growing in 1997. Now they have 2500 hectares, and they sell to 30 different [...]

Franschhoek, the final day

The last day in the valley. It began with another run with Kevin and Gary. The same 6.5 km route taking us out to the monument, then round past Mr Branson’s new purchase (Mont Rochelle), and the new developments on the extensive properties owned by Analjit Singh (who purchased the three adjoining estates of Dassenberg, Von [...]

In Franschhoek day 4, Petite Ferme, the AGP guys, and Foliage

Day four in Franschhoek started a little sluggishly. It was raining hard at Glenwood, where I’d been staying, so a 3 am bedtime plus the precipitation put paid to rather ambitious plans to run a 10 k in beautiful settings.

I had an interesting day ahead. I started off with breakfast in town, followed by a [...]

In Franschhoek, day 3

So, my third day in the paradise that is the Franschhoek valley. I began at La Bri, with Irene Waller (above), who has been making wine here for a while. It’s a lovely spot, and the wines are really good. Viognier impressed, as did the superb 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release. There’s a lovely freshness [...]