I spent today in the Fanagoria winery in Russia. It’s a big operation, making a range of wines from 2500 hectares of vines. That’s big by any standards, but this Jacob’s Creek of Russian wine does a pretty good job, aided by consultant winemaker John Worontschack.
Some food notes. Above, herring, onion and potato; below, sala, [...]
So, after an 0335 alarm call, two flights and a car journey, I’m in a vineyard region in Russia.
I’ve never been to Russia before. Over the next few days I’ll be visiting a number of wineries in a region with no official name. It’s probably best described as Russia’s Black Sea Coast.
Some pictures from yesterday. Great time of year to be in the Douro with vintage just starting.
I’m in sunny Porto, heading off to the Douro today where vintage 2011 is just starting. So, snatching a few minutes on free wifi (all hotels should offer this) in the lobby, a brief account of last night’s dinner.
It was at O Carteiro (55 Rua Senhor da Boa Morte), a traditional Portuguese restaurant. The food [...]
Another day of relaxation under the blue Alentejo sky. We began the day with a cycle ride round the vineyard before breakfast, and since then we’ve spent the best part of the day poolside.
Last night’s dinner at the restuarant here at Malhadinha Nova was really impressive.
Starter of tuna tartare with wasabi ice cream was a [...]
Delighted to be back in Portugal, this time for a bit of a break with Fiona, sans enfants. My plucky parents are looking after our teenage boys. Good luck to them!
We’re staying in the Alentejo, at Malhadinha Nova’s country house and spa. Yes, it’s attached to the vineyard and winery of the same name, and [...]
Today has been hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable. Best of all, we are finding plenty of wines that we can stand behind as South Africa’s top 100.
I have tasting teeth tonight, though. After a full day hard at work tasting, my teeth turn a red/black colour. It’s important you don’t brush them too hard, because [...]
It’s nice to be back in South Africa. I arrived mid-morning along with Greg Sherwood and Sam Harrop. Together with Tim Atkin, who got here a little earlier, we are the UK contingent judging the Top100 tasting (see the website here).
The three of us flew SAA, on a slightly older Airbus A340-200. This means that [...]
Yesterday afternoon was fun, with two contrasting winery visits. Scott Burr, my host, arranged two appointments, on a gloriously bright spring day. On the one hand, Kenwood: a relatively large winery in the Sonoma Valley (production – 500 000 cases), and on the other, Benovia, a boutique operation producing 4000 cases.
Both were very good. Pat [...]
Just on my way home for a brief trip to Eger, in Hungary. I was attending a meeting organized by agrochemical company BASF for some of their most important (viticulture) customers in Hungary.
I left at some unearthly hour from Heathrow yesterday, arriving in Eger by lunchtime. The meeting room was incredibly flash, with multiple screens [...]