In the Veneto watching grapes dry

I’m in the Veneto, in northern Italy for a couple of days. First stop was Masi. They are specialists in Amarone, and we got to see the grapes – Corvina, Rondinella and Molinari, as well as rediscovered grape Oseleta – drying in bamboo racks. This is the process of appassimento.

Masi has 15 drying lofts, including [...]

In Hong Kong

I’m in Hong Kong. My first time here. But only for two days, alas.

The reason? I was giving a talk at the Wine Trade Conference at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair. It seems a bit bonkers to fly across the world (and suffer an 8 hour time zone shift) for such a [...]

In South Africa, day 1

I’m in South Africa, again. No great hardship: I love this country. I arrived on Saturday, and as usual, I’ve found little time to write blog posts, so this will be a brief update from day 1.

I headed to the pretty Stellenbosch Kloof, which is not yet an official subdistrict of this large region, but [...]

In Napa

So, I’m in the Napa Valley. This is actually day 3 (we arrived on Monday afternoon): I would have posted something earlier, but it has been full on with barely a moment to spare. So just some pictures and captions will have to suffice for now. Our first appointment took us into the hills out [...]

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 [...]