Elgin vintage experience 4, Elgin Ridge

The final day of my Elgin vintage experience 2017 was spent with biodynamic winery Elgin Ridge.

This is a film of the day:

We went to the vineyards where Sauvignon Blanc was being harvested. The grapes were looking perfect.

The grapes are harvested in lug boxes and then taken a short distance to the winery.

Also being harvested, after [...]

Elgin vintage experience 3, Almenkerk

Day 3 of my Elgin harvest experiences was at Almenkerk, hosted by owners Joris van Almenkerk and Natalie Opstaele. They are great fun and have a really thoughtful, scientific approach to farming. The day began with a farm tour, riding pilion with Joris as he took me through some blocks that were almost ready to [...]

Elgin vintage experience 1, Iona

Werner Muller, winemaker Iona

The first day of my vintage experience in South Africa’s Elgin region was spent at Iona. I was with Werner Muller, the winemaker, for the day. Iona have three properties: the Iona farm itself, Brocha, and Langrug – all are quite different. Langrug is the first to be harvested and is [...]

Niepoort's Clos de Crappe: an unusual, remarkable wine

You can’t put Dirk Niepoort in a box. He’s not your standard winemaker. Who releases a wine called ‘Clos de Crappe’ with the description ‘technically a disaster’? (See above from the Niepoort website.) As Dirk explains in the film below, Clos de Crappe was originally a wine made with a view to producing a slightly [...]

The New Douro Tasting 2016

So, today: the New Douro Tasting at the gritty Vinyl Factory in Soho. I went and tasted widely. I’d just been in the Douro with the Douro Boys, so I didn’t taste their wines here. Instead, I focused on other producers, and found lots to like. It seems that even some Douro table wines that [...]

Video and pictures: Elgin from the air

Here’s a short film and some pictures from my gyrocopter flight over Elgin with Ian Corder. It was an amazing experience. But gyrocopters are tiny and it was a little bit scary. Thankfully Ian is a safe pilot.

Pictures:

Lothian

 

Almenkerk

Elgin Ridge winery

The currently roofless Iona winery

Iona, house

Iona

Ian Corder

 

Video: interviewing Adi Badenhorst about his new wines

I caught up with Adi Badenhorst at Intrepid last week. He’s got some new wines out. Two in particular really appealed to me: a flor-aged Sauvignon Blanc called John Strikes Again from Under a Veil of Good Fortune, and a stunning Chenin Blanc called Dassiekop Steen.

Here’s the interview:

And notes on the wines:

Badenhorst John Strikes Again [...]

Video: tasting the Cape Winemakers' Guild auction wines 2016

Back in 1981, when the Cape Winemakers’ Guild was first formed, the South African wine scene was very different to how it is today. One of the founder members of the CWG, Kevin Arnold of Waterford Estate, recalls how the organization began as a way for isolated winemakers in the Cape to share knowledge and [...]

Video: the 2016 VDP Grosses Gewächs tasting in Wiesbaden

On Wednesday I was in Wiesbaden, Germany, for a very special tasting. It was the 2016 Grosses Gewächs tasting, featuring new releases from some of Germany’s top wine estates, all of whom are members of the VDP.

Some explanation is in order. VDP stands for Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (which translates as the Association of German Prädikat [...]

Folium: interesting dry-grown wines from New Zealand's Marlborough region

Takaki Okada came to New Zealand’s Marlborough region in 2003, and began working with Clos Henri. In 2010, he bought an 8.5 hectare vineyard that had been established by Fromm in the Brancott Valley. He began making his own wines.

Marlborough is quite dry (growing season averages around 340 ml of rain, with 640 ml the [...]