A year in the life of a winewriter, 2013

It has been a good year. Not always straightforward, but rewarding. One measure of the success of a year is how much I have learned, and this year I have learned a great deal. Here are some of the highlights.
IMGP0030
First trip of the year, a brief visit to Bordeaux, to talk at a conference on wine communication. Bordeaux has begun to grow on me this year; I have ignored it for too long.
IMGP9939
Then it was off to New Zealand for Pinot Noir 2013, and a chance to visit five different regions, courtesy of the Family of XII. So a number of pictures. There’s Craggy’s Te Muna Road vineyard in Martinborough; the Wellington ukulele orchestra at Neudorf in Nelson; a vertical of Ata Rangi; James Millton who hosted me in Gisborne, with some tuna freshly caught by his mate Boyd; and a view from the flight down to Central Otago.
JAGM0371

IMGP9898

IMGP9836

IMGP9804

IMGP0105
IMGP0586
February saw a remarkable Sauvignon Blanc tasting, to launch the new Brancott ‘Chosen Rows’ Sauvignon Blanc.

IMGP0572
There was also a dinner with two of the new stars of California, Kutch and Sandhi. Great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with real finesse.

IMGP0917
March also took me to South Africa. As well as judging in the Top 100 competition, I also visited Robertson, Stellenbosch and Hemel-en-Aarde. Pictured below is Kevin Grant of Ataraxia, in his chapel-like tasting room.
IMGP1172

IMGP1230

IMGP0675
I gave a talk at VinCe in Budapest in March. This was a dinner with wine people at Zona, a great modern Hungarian restaurant in the city.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
April took me to the Loire, to taste at the Concours Sauvignon in Blois, a charming town. I also got to visit Sancerre for the first time (above).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

blois1

IMGP7472
May: my first wine trip to Israel. Pictured are three of the country’s leading winemakers. It was a fun few days.

lunch1
And a great lunch hosted by Keith Prothero at La Trompette. Superb wines.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
May: judging the wines of the Balkans competition in Sofia, with a great bunch of tasters. Some really interesting wines, too – 2013 was a year when the Balkan wines began to shine internationally. Pictured below is a remarkable Bulgarian wine from Borovitza – a Gamza (Kadarka in Hungary).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMG_1770
One of the two new cameras I bought this year. It’s lovely, especially with the f2.8 17mm prime lens pictured here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Summer took me to Canada for the first time. It was a really fun trip. I wasn’t expecting to find so many really good wines. Pictured here, three of the stars: Hinterland, Norm Hardie, Pearl Morissette.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A new restaurant which became a favourite. My first experience of the Grain Store in Kings Cross (which is being redeveloped, below) was at a dinner showcasing the wines of Hirsch, with Jasmine Hirsch (above). Californian Pinot with elegance. As a result of this, I’m going to take part in an In Pursuit of Balance seminar next year.

IMG_0528

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I have to mention the dinner with an inspiring group of Portuguese winemakers – they’ve dubbed themselves the young winemakers of Portugal, but what happens in 20 years? The middle-aged winemakers of Portugal?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
A new alliance of South African winegrowers, PIWOSA, held a memorable tasting and dinner in June.

IMGP7618
Urban winery London Cru was a welcome addition to the London wine scene this year. The winery is under the Roberson offices in west London.

IMG_0705-001
This was the year I began to run. I had a goal: the Medoc marathon, which I ran in September as part of team Pichon. I survived! Video is here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

IMGP7650

2013 also saw my first visit to Tokaj, with Disznoko. It was harvest time, which made it even more exciting.

IMGP7805

IMG_1773

And to finish off with, my first visit to Serbia, to judge wine. I had a great couple of days in Belgrade, and the wines were impressive.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And for comparison, this is my year for 2012

1 comment to A year in the life of a winewriter, 2013

  • keith prothero

    Thanks as always Jamie for your excellent blog,which is once gain my favourite Wine Blog of the year.
    Glad you enjoyed the lunch at La Trompette and we must do another when I get back from the Cape.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

*