In Nova Scotia, Canada, visiting the remarkable Benjamin Bridge sparkling winery

It was my first time in Nova Scotia. This is the eastern-most province of Canada, and it’s the youngest of Canada’s cool climate wine regions. I was here to visit Benjamin Bridge, the sparkling wine producer that’s making waves, and has the reputation of being Canada’s finest sparkling winery.

I was travelling with three sommeliers from [...]

Two rarities from Eyrie Vineyards, Oregon: Pinot Meunier Rosé fizz and Chasselas Doré

I’ve just arrived in Oregon, after landing in Vancouver via Calgary last night. It’s a fair drive down, but on the way back I’ll be stopping in Seattle for the Riesling Rendezvous. Another first: entering the USA via a land border, which took a while, but was uneventful. I’m staying tonight at the Eyrie Vineyards, [...]

In the Okanagan, BC, Canada: Laughing Stock and Bella

The last couple of visits in the Okanagan were really interesting. The first was at Laughing Stock Vineyards on the Naramata Bench. Cynthia and David Enns (above) were financial people who caught the wine bug, and they bought this property in 2003. They were the ninth vineyard on the Bench, and now there are 30. [...]

In South Africa, day 1, Leeu House and a grand MCC tasting

I arrived in South Africa yesterday morning. Greeted by a bright, brisk sunny winter’s day, I headed off to Franschhoek. This is the tourist hotspot of the winelands, and with its natural beauty and attractive town, it’s easy to see why. It’s also the current hotspot of South Africa’s thriving Methode Cap Classique (MCC) sparkling [...]

In Alsace, kicking off with some crémant

I’m in Alsace, and last night I began with some crémant, Alsace’s traditional method sparkling wine, of which over 30 million bottles are produced annually. Here are a few that I tried.

Dirler-Cadé Brut Nature 2013 Alsace, France
Lively and focused with nice bright citrus fruit and a hint of wax and lemon. Lovely fruity style. 89/100

Domaine [...]

Tantalus Old Vines Riesling Brut 2013 Okanagan Valley, Canada

So, this is pretty much a real time tasting note of a sparkling wine from Canada’s Okanagan Valley that’s in my glass at the moment. Tantalus has been growing grapes since 1927, and this Riesling vineyard was planted in 1978, which for Vitis vinifera in the Okanagan, is pretty ancient history. It’s from clone 21B, [...]

The new Exton Park Pinot Meunier Rosé

Had a chance to taste this new varietal Pinot Meunier from Hampshire-based English sparkling wine producer Exton Park, with winemaker Corinne Sealy. She describes Pinot Meunier as ‘a child that has to be well educated.’ She says, ‘it is stubborn.’ In the vineyard they have tried all sorts of ways of growing it, and finally [...]

Nyetimber Tillington Single Vineyard 2010: an exciting new release (with video)

Nyetimber, one of the UK’s most celebrated sparkling wine producers, has released the new vintage of its Tillington Single Vineyard, the 2010. At around £75 a bottle, this is ambitiously priced, but the debut 2009 was very well received. I reviewed it back in September 2013. So, how is the 2010? I think it’s quite [...]

Le Lude, a new Méthode Cap Classique fizz from South Africa

This is not a Champagne and sparkling wine blog, although if you’ve been scrolling through recent posts you could be forgiven for thinking that it is. It’s just I’ve been quite taken by fizz of late. So I was pleased to be able to try this South African sparkling wine recently, which is creating quite [...]

Why English Sparkling Wine producers need to export

There’s a lot of excitement about English sparkling wine at the moment. Justifiably so. But there is one small cloud on the horizon.

It’s called route to market. Soon, because of all the new vineyards that have been planted over the last decade, there will be quite a bit of wine that needs selling. And the [...]