The New Zealand Wine Flight

Yesterday, Air New Zealand and New Zealand Wine Growers collaborated to put on a special wine flight over five of New Zealand’s wine regions. I captured the experience in a short film.

 

Taking off from Blenheim airport

Blenheim

Looking across the southern valleys to the Wither Hills

Where the Waihopai Valley (left) meets the Wairau […]

Alternative Bordeaux (1) biodynamics at Château Palmer

Bordeaux. It’s the world’s most famous wine region, but peoples’ perceptions of this place are dominated by the 4% or so of famous properties that sit right at the top of the tree. The celebrity estates deserve their accolades: this region is home to some of the world’s most sought-after wines. But there is more […]

In Argentina (1) visiting the El Esteco winery in Cafayate

There’s something different about Argentina’s Calchaqui Valley. It’s the most northerly of the wine regions in Argentina, and it’s the highest. The light is a little clearer – startling, even. And the air has a certain quality. It feels remote, and even a bit frontier-like here. Cafayate itself is a small town, with a large […]

Video: visiting Masi, masters of appassimento

Masi are one of the leading wine producers in the Veneto region of northern Italy. They are specialists in appassimento, the process of drying freshly harvested grapes on racks for three months after vintage. During the drying process, sugars, flavour compounds and acidity are concentrated, and metabolic changes take place in the grapes that otherwise […]

Visiting Europe's first commercial tea plantation

A few weeks ago I was in Porto, and I joined fellow journalist Treve Ring to visit one of Europe’s first commercial tea plantations. It’s from Nina Gruntkowski and Dirk Niepoort, who have a tea import company called Cha Camelia, specialising in Japanese tea. Now they will be making their own tea from a quinta […]

Video: the Beaujolais Magnum party!

Amazing night last night: the Beaujolais magnum party at Magpie. A great crew and some fab Gamay in magnum. Here’s the film.

In Vancouver: we buy and cook spot prawns straight from the sea, with chef Ned Bell

Ned Bell, celebrity chef, author of ‘Lured’

This was a fun day. We headed out to Granville Island, Vancouver, where we met up with chef Ned Bell at Edible Canada After a lunch of bison poutine, we visited Granville Island market to buy some ingredients. Then it was off to have a look at some […]

Video: Pinhão station and its famous tiles

Ever since I first arrived at Pinhão station in Portugal’s Douro Valley, I’ve been amazed by its beautiful blue tiles (azulejos). Overall, there are 3024 of these hand-painted tiles, arranged in 24 panels depicting wine production in the Douro as it would have been a century ago.

The station dates back to 1880, but the tiles […]

Takaki Okada's after-vintage hangi

I landed in New Zealand just in time to catch Takaki Okada’s (Folium Vineyard) after-vintage hangi. For the last few years Takaki has hosted this event. A hangi is a traditional Māori way of cooking, and it involves burying the food in a pit after lighting a fire. A few hours later, the hangi is […]

Video: a day at the International Wine Challenge 2018

A short film of a day’s judging at the International Wine Challenge.