Video: a day at the International Wine Challenge 2018

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

Video: a weekend in Beaujolais for the Bien Boire en Beaujolais

Vineyards on the slop of Mont Brouilly

I’ve just spent the weekend in Beaujolais, home to one of my favourite grape varieties, Gamay. It meant an early flight on Saturday morning, and then an early flight this morning (by early, I mean alarms going off at 0300 and 0330 respectively), but it was worth it. […]

Video: the Nagano wine region, Japan

Here’s a brief video of my trip round the Nagano wine region:

Overview: Japan’s wine scene
Part 1, Kido Winery
Part 2, Domaine Nakajima
Part 3, Hyashi Nouen
Part 4, Kusunoki Winery
Part 5, Obusé Winery
Part 6, Manns Winery Komoro
Part 7, Villa d’Est Garden Farm and Winery
Part 8, Votano Wines
Part 9, Cantina Riezo
Part 10, Shinshu Takayama Winery
Nagano wine tasting and overall […]

Video: harvest at Gabrielskloof 3, making whites

In the third and final video from the 2018 harvest at Gabrielskloof, in South Africa’s Bot River wine region, I look at how white wines are made:


Part 2, red winemaking:


Part 1: in the vineyard:

Harvest at Gabrielskloof:

Managing red wine ferments
Vineyard sampling
Collecting grapes
Pressing Chenin Blanc and sorting Pinot Noir
Pressing Grenache Gris and barrel work
The final instalment

Video: vintage at Gabrielskloof part 1

While I was taking part in vintage at Gabrielskloof a couple of weeks ago, I did quite a bit of filming. So I’ll be making three films, and this is the first, focusing on the vineyards. Picking decisions, picking grapes, then picking up the picked grapes.

Harvest at Gabrielskloof:

Managing red wine ferments
Vineyard sampling
Collecting grapes
Pressing Chenin Blanc […]

Walking the Abel Tasman

This weekend Nat and I headed off to spend a couple of days walking the Abel Tasman Track, a stunning route at the top of the South Island. To do the 60 km path properly takes three to four days, and you carry all your stuff with you, staying on camp sites or in huts. […]

How oak barrels are made: visiting Tonnellerie de Mercurey, Burgundy

I recently had the chance to visit Tonnellerie de Mercurey, a leading barrel manufacturer in Burgundy. Barrels are pretty important to wine, because even though they are an old technology, they are still widely used, especially for more premium styles, and have a strong influence on the flavour of the wine produced.

If you’ve ever tasted […]

Vignes Préphylloxérique: a Tannat made from ungrafted vines planted in 1871

For the last few days I have been with Plaimont Producteurs in southwest France. They are a sizeable company who source from 5000 hectares of vines and make 38 million bottles of wine each year, from the appellations of Saint Mont, Madiran and Côtes de Gascogne. As well as making lots of good quality, characterful […]

Japan eating: Omi beef sukiyaki at Restaurant Moroshima

Omi beef, thinly sliced

Another great meal in Japan; another stop in this great gastronomic journey. This time, Omi beef sukiyaki at Restaurant Morishima, in Omi-hachaman in the Shiga prefecture not far from Kyoto.

Omi beef sashimi

This is a restaurant devoted to Omi beef. This is one of the top three types of Wagyu beef, […]

An amazing meal at Houraiken, Nagoya, with Japanese wine

Hot on the heels of one of the most memorable meals of my life a few days ago in Tokyo, I had a very special experience last night, dining at the main restaurant of Houraiken in Nagoya (they have three branches). Houraiken is an old, traditional restaurant whose speciality is eel (unagi).

Here is a short […]