Video: planting an Arinto vineyard in Vinho Verde, Portugal

A brief film showing an Arinto vineyard being planted in Vinho Verde, Portugal. It’s from Casal de Ventozela, which is one of the properties I visited in April when I was looking at the concept of single-variety Vinho Verde. This is old school vineyard planting: effective, but time consuming. You can get laser-guided machines to [...]

Quinta do Noval 2013 Vintage Port

Don’t you just love eccentric declarations? We’re talking Vintage Port here. It used to be so solemn and predictable: three declarations a decade, from the very best years, agreed in a gentlemanly fashion over a long lunch at the Factory House (or, at least, that’s how it seems from the outside). Now Quinta do Noval [...]

Video: Cockburn's Port Bicentenary Tasting

Here’s a film from the recent Cockburn’s Port Bicentenary tasting, held in London. It involved a range of Ports from Cockburn’s glory days to the present day, including a couple of rare pre-phylloxera bottles. The Symingtons purchased Cockburn’s in 2006 and their aim is to restore this Port house – which for a long time [...]

O-Port-Unidade

This is super cool. O-Port-Unidade is a charity Port, organized by Axel Probst, German fighter pilot and Port lover (his website is World of Port). 24 Port producers (with one famous absentee, I guessed correctly who this was) joined in, donating old vine grapes (average age 35 years) to the project from the 2013 vintage. [...]

Lunch with Dirk Niepoort, including the Poeirinho Baga and a Madeira from 1795

Dirk Niepoort is in town, so yesterday we arranged to have lunch at Kitchen W8. It’s been a while since I caught up with Mr Niepoort, who is one of my top wine heroes. He brought along his new Bairrada wine, Poeirinho, and also a small bottle containing a mystery wine: it turned out to [...]

Three lovely wines: Leflaive Pucelles, Wetzer Kekfrankos and Kopke white port 1935

These three lovely wines were brought round by guests. The best sort of guests. The Leflaive Pucelles was served blind, and in a stroke of lucky intuition, I guessed it as very fine white Burgundy, a Leflaive, and Pucelles. But I got the vintage wrong: I called it 2002. This sort of guesswork looks great [...]

Kopke Colheita Ports back to 1941

Colheitas are single vintage Tawny Ports (that is, Ports that have been aged for a long time in large oak barrels, rather than bottled after a few years and aged in bottle), and Kopke are specialists with this style of Port. They have good stocks of old Colheitas which they bottle on order, and the [...]

Some more pictures from the road

Some more pictures from the road. I’m now back from the quick Spain and Portugal trip, but I thought I’d share these. First of all, a couple of pictures from the brief stop in Ribeiro, the region inland from Rias Baixas that is a hot spot for the Treixadura grape variety.

Next, a shot of the [...]

On the road in Spain and Portugal

Today is the third day of a brief three day trip taking in Galicia (Spain) and the Minho (northern Portugal). I’m travelling with Nick Oakley, visiting his agencies in the region, so we’re covering quite a bit of ground, and I’m visiting these producers for the first time. I’m pressed for time, so a proper [...]

The wine boats of the Douro river

This is a great film. It’s titled ‘The wine boats of the Douro river’, and it represents a very different Douro than that of today, shot in 1923. This was before the Douro was dammed in the late 1960s/early 1970s with five different dams, which converted it from a sometimes rather wild river into the [...]