In 2021 Languedoc producer, Katie Jones, looked to give her customers and members of the wine trade a unique opportunity to “Adopt an Old Vine” that allowed them to go online and pick out a vine, each given a name and their own back story, and claim it as their own. Now two years later she is re-opening the scheme again and making further vines available on an ongoing basis. Here we re-publish the article with Jones we ran in 2021 where she explains how she came up with the idea and how she hopes it brings her loyal customers even closer not just to her wines, but the actual vines that produce the grapes that go in them.
Rioja Wine UK invites the UK trade and press to the first Rioja Residency – an immersive, educational journey around Rioja without leaving London. It all takes place on June 21 at London’s five-star boutique hotel, The Ned, which will be Rioja’s home for the day where guests can enjoy the region’s rich culture and heritage including the chance to taste wines from 20 visiting winemakers. The day will also include masterclasses from Spanish wine experts and masters of wine. Here’s what is in store.
Understanding terroir and how it can be expressed in wine is one of the key priorities at family-owned, Tokaj-based winery Harsányi, as the trend towards dry wine continues in this region of Hungary. Robert Mason talks to head of the estate, Gábor Harsányi, tastes through the range and discovers how key the conversion to organic winemaking is as it embraces the new, as well as endorsing its historic past.
It might have taken a (very long) time for Georgian wines to really find their place in the UK wine market, but with sales booming year-on-year there is much to talk and get excited about. As well as showing a wide selection of its wines at this week’s London Wine Fair, Wines of Georgia is also holding a separate portfolio tasting in London on May 23. Here Sarah Abbott MW helps set the scene for both with her take on why she thinks serious wine lists should always have room for Georgian wines.
“Our work in the Aventura Winery will allow us to innovate at speed” and help it “be at the forefront of future trends.” It’s a bold statement and an impressive ambition but one that leading Chilean producer, Morandé Wine Group, has made possible by investing in and building a new state-of-the-art winery equipped with the latest vinification technology and ageing vessels – from concrete to qvevri – so that it can both develop its own ideas and brands, but also be a “one stop solution” for projects and opportunities for potential customers around the world.
“Tejo produces some of the freshest, most vibrant and affordable wines in Portugal today.” That’s the view of wine consultant Dirceu Vianna Junior MW on a region that might be Portugal’s oldest but has still so much to offer and discover. Here ahead of Wines of Tejo showcasing its wines at next week’s London Wine Fair we also talk to Luís de Castro, president of the regional wine commission of Tejo and Wine Intelligence consultant, Brian Howard, about what makes the region so special and why buyers should check out its wines at the fair.
Know your Albariño from your Alicante, Garnacha from Graciano and Verdejo from Viura? Ramón Bilbao is giving you the chance to prove it by entering the Spanish Wine Master, the latest initiative from its Spanish Wine Academy educational programme. The Spanish Wine Master is open to anyone who works in the UK trade and is pitched at the equivalent of WSET Level 3 (and above) knowledge. Here Rodolfo Bastida, chief winemaker and Kirsty Loftus, UK and Ireland area manager for Ramón Bilbao explain what the competition is all about and why education is such a key part of what the winery is about.
Both Richard Leaver and and Domingo Miguel are well versed in knowing how to source wines and create brands for the countless retailers and buyers they have worked with over the years. They are now ready to use those skills and network of producers to create their own, appropriately named, brand – Savvy Pair – that is focused on bringing “bright, fresh fruit forward wines” to the market from multiple markets. Or as Leaver puts it: “It is unequivocally about us and our experiences, travels, loves and failures!” They talk to Richard Siddle about how they are going to do it.
“What I saw wasn’t a derelict vineyard, what I saw was the chance to create something different: something delicious.” In one sentence Nic Peterkin captures the spirit of innovation and willingness to be brave and different that is very much what the modern winemaking scene is like in Australia’s Margaret River. Julian Tompkin talks to Peterkin about his LAS Vino business and Richard Burch of Burch Family Wines about how they are following their families into wine, but taking winemaking in a whole different direction.
If you have any room in your diary for an extra few meetings at ProWein then here’s why you should spend some time and go over to Wine Australia’s stand and pick out the five producers who are making the journey from South Australia to represent the Riverland wine region as part of the Riverland Uprising initiative to shine the light on the alternative winemaking scene in what is largely regarded as one of the country’s biggest sourcing areas for bulk wine. If you do there are five producers just waiting to meet you.
Margaux-based Château Durfort-Vivens has ditched its ‘second wine’ and is now producing three Parcelles wines using the same fruit – individual expressions that are made with amphorae and clay jars and made to be drunk young. Peter Dean met up with Gonzague and Claire Lurton to discover how this is another part of their strategy to challenge the status quo in Bordeaux and to make the region more vital and affordable to younger drinkers.
As Domaine Gayda looks to celebrate 20 years of making wine in the Languedoc, co-founder, Tim Ford, looks back on what the business has been able to achieve in establishing a range of branded wines, centred around its flagship brand Chemin de Moscou, that champions the diversity of terroir and grape varieties of the Languedoc whilst also celebrating what IGP wines can achieve. He also looks ahead to where he hopes Domaine Gayda can go to in the years to come.
Les Grands Chais de France might sell wine in close to 170 countries around the world but it’s the UK which continues to show the way for its premium wines as more independent wine merchants and regional players look to take advantage of the enormous opportunities it can offer not just from France, but around the world. Wines that will be on show at its big regional tastings taking place in Birmingham and Leeds this week, as UK channel controller, Chris Davies, explains.
“Riverland is Australia’s most diverse and experimental wine region,” that’s the bold claim from Riverland Wine’s executive officer, Lyndall Rowe, which is quite the statement considering the competition it has from the country’s other main wine regions. You will be able to judge for yourself at this month’s ProWein as Rowe is leading a group of Riverland producers who will be travelling to Dusseldorf to show just how “diverse” and “experimental” its wines are. Here she explains just what makes the Riverland so special.
In just 40 years Italy’s Terra Moretti group has gone from a brainwave by a construction mogul into one of Italy’s largest and most respected wine producers. Operating six wineries over three wine regions, Terra Moretti is now producing some 8.5 million bottles of wine with plaudits coming for the designs of the estates just as much as what’s in the bottle. Geoffrey Dean packed his bags and headed to Tuscany to visit Petra and Sardinia to drop in on Sella & Mosca – talk to the winemakers and get the lowdown on the wines themselves.
Chinese wine has had a number of false dawns in the UK and other key wine markets around the world. But just as it seems to be gaining some traction, interest wanes and producers have turned back to building domestic sales instead. But as the country finally emerges from its prolonged Covid lockdown, Christelle Chene, international affairs director at the Xige Estate in Ningxia – widely recognised as the premium winemaking region of China – makes the case for why this new ambitious, influential producer has its sights on making not just its name overseas, but for premium Chinese wine as a whole.
We continue our countdown to the ceremony of the Star Wine List UK of the Year with The Buyer by looking at one of the new international categories that has been introduced for the 2023 competition – most sustainable wine list. To help put on the award we have partnered with Spier, one of South Africa’s leading wineries when it comes to environmental farming with a whole host of initiatives in place that not only look after the vines and the grapes they produce, but also the soils and natural habitat all around them. Spier also works closely with local communities and promotes cultural and art initiatives as part of its commitment to be a sustainable business in all aspects of what it does.
To help mark Australia Day we turn our attention on Brown Brothers’ that has been making wine in Milawa in Victoria since 1889. The winery remains with the family all these years later and is now under the control of three sisters, Katherine, Caroline and Emma who have taken the helm of one of Australia’s first and leading family-owned wine companies. Libby Brodie talks to winemaker, Katherine Brown, about life on the estate, its future plans and how it is looking forwards to bringing Brown Brother’s sweet wine Orange Muscat and Flora back to the UK.
“Mature vineyards and talented, experienced winemakers have taken the expression of Riesling to another level, where the region’s examples sit comfortably as world-class interpretations of the variety.” That’s how David Stredwick explains the impact that Riesling has had in Western Australia and how winemakers, particularly in the Great Southern area, are working hard to understand and improve the unique quality Rielsings the area is now capable of producing.
“It is great to see what Steve and Jill Matthiasson are doing to fight the good fight for California as a whole,” is how Jon Davey of its UK wine importer, Nekter Wines, introduced the Matthiassons to a room of top sommeliers and wine merchants in London at the end of last year before giving the floor to the Matthiassons to explain their part in the new wave Californian wine scene and just what a ‘pursuit of balance’ means to them and why sustainable and organic winemaking has always been the way they have made wine since they started in 2003.