If you are in the lucky position to have money to invest in new businesses and start-ups then it’s easy to see why a wine project would, on paper at least, be so attractive. Particularly if it meant having a stake in a living, breathing vineyard capable of producing wine for you, which is exactly the route that Phillip Addis, former Great Western Wines chief and his business partners took when trying to find backing for their new winery project, in south west France.
Now in its eighth year, Taste Canada 2018 welcomed 37 producers to London’s Canada House in May to show more than 150 wines across a myriad of styles and price points. But how come all the trade is talking about Canadian wine and are these wines actually any good? Chris Wilson explains why all the fuss and picks out the Top 10 wines from the event just in case you didn’t make it along.
Here’s some news for you. Quiet and unassuming Canada is not quiet and unassuming anymore. Particularly if you consider the actions of its not quite so cuddly Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, one of the few world leaders to really get under the skin of President Trump. Now Canadian winemakers have some way to go before they can claim to be catching the attention of world’s leading wine buyers, never mind the White House, but they now have the wines to do so, they just need to find more ways, like this, to tell the world about them.
There was a more professional sheen to the Wines of Great Britain generic tasting this year, argues Chris Wilson, which put it on an equal footing with similar tastings from other wine regions. But how did the wines shape up? Glass in hand, self-confessed fan of English and Welsh wine, Chris picked out 10 wines both still and sparkling that he thinks you should definitely have won your buying radar, and gives his reasons why.
For all Italophiles out there lamenting the fact Italy has not qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 here’s some better news for you. Bellavita Expo, a celebration of all things Italian, comes to London next week, between June 17-19 at London’s Business Design Centre. The three day event is part of a global roadshow that looks to highlight the best in Italian wine and food to buyers, importers, restaurateurs and sommeliers. Here’s what to expect…
He calls himself a ‘bourbon aficionado’, we call him a ‘bourbon nut’, so when we were looking around for someone to go and try a range of barrel strength whiskeys and bourbons we just had to send photo-journalist Neil Hennessy-Vass. After all it was 9.45am on a Monday morning.
By its very nature the craft brewing business attracts people who have followed very different careers before turning to beer. Few, though, can match the back story of trained marine biologist Greg Pilley who had spent most of his career in remote parts of Africa working as a conservationist trying to protect elephants, before turning to brewing. It’s a fascinating story that culminates in his Stroud Brewery becoming one of only five organic craft brewers in the country.
It was realising how fragile nature is, following the Chernobyl disaster, that convinced winemaker Hartmut Heintz to make his Zwölberich winery in the Nahe fully organic. He then converted fully to biodynamics, the first winery in this German region to do so. A firm advocate of the principles of Jean-Pierre Frick, this wasn’t the only thing that he shared with Christina Rasmussen, who sat down with him at London’s La Trompette restaurant for an unforgettable evening of conversation and wine.
If you could create a caricature of an Australian winemaker then David Hohnen, the man behind the iconic Cape Mantelle, Cloudy Bay and McHenry Hohnen brands, would be pretty close to the mark. Blunt, to the point and by his own admission “grumpy looking” but with a sense of humour sharp enough to cut through any conversation. Joe Fattorini caught up with him last weekend on his Margaret River farm just a couple of days before it was announced he is to receive the Order of Australia.
The Cognac industry suffers more than most from the tyranny of the world’s economic cycles, but it is currently in rude health, with annual growth at 10%, driven by the high-value premium market. For the 300 year-old Cognac house, Rémy Martin, projects such as Carte Blanche which has a price tag of £350, are an important part of its super-premium offering. It also gives its Cellar Master Baptiste Loiseau an amazingly free hand in choosing the style of Cognac he wants to be making.