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 [...]

In the Niagara wine region, Canada, day 2

Another day of visits. And they were all good. First of all, I headed off to Flat Rock cellars, hosted by winemaker Jay Johnston. Flat Rock are Riesling specialists, but also make very good Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. And the wines are very reasonably priced.

Jay Johnston

After two brutal winters they’ve decided to replant 24 [...]

On the road in Provence, some pictures

I’m currently on the road in Provence. It’s a beautiful time of year to be here. Harvest has just begun in many areas; in others it is a week or two away. It’s sunny but not scorching hot, and the bulk of the tourists have gone home, so it means that the roads aren’t permanently [...]

On the road in Oregon wine country

I’m in the middle of a packed itinerary of visiting Oregon wine producers. I didn’t decide who I was going to see but left it in the hands of the Oregon Wine Board. This way, I get a lot of surprises. They have done a great job in matching me with producers whose approach and [...]

in Alsace

So nice to be back in Alsace. It is such a beautiful wine region. I’m here for just a few days with a big group of UK wine journalists and sommeliers for Millesimes Alsace, a large tasting with more than 90 top producers, and associated dinners and gatherings. For now, a few pictures of the [...]

In Madrid for the ML Wines competition

So I find myself in Madrid. It’s a little chillier than London, which caught me out a bit. But it is a nice place to spend a few days. I am here to act as one of the judges for the ML Wines competition. It’s the third time I’ve judged this: we assess red [...]

In Canada, day 2

A great day in Niagara wine country. 58 wines tasted at four different wineries. Lots learned. Helicopters flown in: 1.

The day started at Southbrook Vineyards, which was Canada’s first certified biodynamic wine producer. It’s an impressive, modern LEED-certified winery, too. I met with winemakers Ann Sperling and Brian Hamilton (above), and we tasted through a [...]

In Canada, day 1

So, I am in Canada. For one night only, I’m staying in the very pretty resort town of Niagara on the Lake. I got here about 4 pm yesterday, arriving in beautiful sunshine and temperatures in the high 20s. The first thing I did was check the test match score (England pulled off a thrilling [...]

In Bordeaux for Vinexpo, some highlights

Just on my way home from Bordeaux, and a quick one-night stay for Vinexpo, the huge bi-annual wine trade fair.

These Castel girls were unloading a palette of gift bags every few hours, which – inexplicably – punters seemed keen to snaffle. But what was in them worth snaffling?

The scale of Vinexpo, with it’s multitiered [...]

In Israel

Uri Hetz, Naama Sorkin and Gaby Sadan

Until yesterday, my experience of Israel’s wines was pretty limited. But yesterday I spent a day in northern Israel’s wine country, visiting producers and learning a lot.

This was followed by a dinner in Akko, at Uri Buri restaurant, with some winemakers. It was a remarkable day.

Today I pay [...]