Wine Stories, People, Tastings & Scores

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Madeira wine is not just for Christmas

The sweet and high-alcohol Madeira wines seem to be unfashionable to drink other than at Christmas. This is a big misunderstanding.

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In Focus

Ta' Betta
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Just Arrived

Sardinian wine grower defends himself against Red Bull

World-famous Austrian drinks business wants small Italian winery to change logo.

Wine world mourns death of Donald Hess

Entrepreneur helped turn Napa Valley into top tourist destination.

Wine from Scandinavia: Good things lie far in the north

Wine from Denmark, Sweden and even Norway? This is not wine paradise, also because of climate change, but there are more and more of them.

Bordeaux: Exodus of Chinese Investors?

More and more châteaux have changed hands to Chinese ownership. But now this trend seems to be reversing.

Column: Decanters are not just for serious reds

Gabriel Stone explains why decanters do not only have a place at black-tie dinners.

New donut-flavoured beer about to hit the US market

Tie-up between two New York institutions creates a unique stout.

Details about wine tourism conference revealed

In March, Tarragona will host IWINETC, a wine and culinary tourism event.

Football club ditches plastic bottles in drive toward sustainability

Wine will be served in cans after Ipswich Town signed deal with Vinca Wine.

UK wine school launches new six-day course

Darts Farm in Devon hosts event targeted at connoisseurs and industry professionals.

Wine lovers camp outside for a month to grab new Burgundy release

Oslo store erects tent as customers brave four-week wait in sub-zero temperatures.

Everything you need to know about Red Mountain AVA

The meteoric rise of Washington State's premier wine region is well-justified.

Baden-Baden Wine & Gourmet Festival details

The whole of Baden-Baden will become a gourmet hotspot for foodies and connoisseurs from May 19th - 21st 2023.

London hotel tries its hand at gin production

St Ermin´s Hotel uses some very local home-grown botanicals for its own small-batch gin.

English wine producer reveals record-breaking year

Chapel Down’s sparkling wine exports increase by 164 per cent.

Fizz without the faff

UK law change may end use of foil on sparkling wine bottles.

Sainsbury’s the first UK supermarket to stock wine in paper bottles

Tie-up with alt-format wine brand will see red and white brands on the shelves.

Global issues fail to dampen thirst for Champagne, with sales up in 2022

Worldwide, 326 million bottles of champagne were sold last year, a significant increase from 2021.

Five English ciders for wine lovers

Cider is so often viewed as an inferior product to wine. But a new wave of producers is tapping into this category’s rich heritage.

Aussie star’s wine business adds £9.3m fizz to her accounts

Kylie Minogue’s wines proving a big hit with consumers.

Wineries & Estates

Hattingley Valley Wines

Alresford, Great Britain

Simon Robinson, Hattingley’s founder, had always wanted to make something that was quintessentially British. When he heard a radio programme in 2000 on the rapidly developing English wine scene his Hattingley adventure began. With family encouragement, he decided to turn over 25 acres of chalky, south sloping fields to vineyards in pursuit of his dream. Simon also recognised the need for an expert winemaker and discovered Emma Rice who joined the team at the end of 2008. In 2010 Hattingley completed the build of an eco-friendly, state-of-the-art winery in time for their first vintage. Now with over a 600 tonne capacity they have over 100 awards to date and three ‘World Champion’ trophies in the cabinet; they are one of the most respected producers of English sparkling wines in the country. All of their wines are also Vegetarian & Vegan friendly.

Weingut Kloster Ebernach

Cochem, Germany

The "N" in the name is coloured in red on the label, a wise decision that may prevent confusion with "Eberbach". The monastery's vineyards produce typical Mosel Rieslings, but not only them. Our tip this year is a Pinot Blanc, as it also comes across like a true Moselaner: approachable, unpretentious and sensual. The Mosel character, shaped by the slate, is also expressed in the finest way by Goldberg Riesling "Alte Reben", as well as the Spätlese from a single vineyard with a surprising name - Bischofsstuhl (Bishop's Chair).

Weingut Pöckl

Mönchhof, Austria

Red wine is the passion of René and Eva Pöckl. Their goal is to constantly improve the quality and produce the best possible wine. In the vineyard they work very closely with nature, the soils have a permanent cover crop and the double guyot training system generates small, concentrated berries. These form the perfect basis for the unique, long-lived Pöckl wines. The history of the Pöckl winery began in 1910, when Albert Pöckl returned to Austria from the USA and laid the foundation for the farm. Over the years, the Pöckl family specialised first in viticulture in general and then in red wine in particular. The area in and around Mönchhof offers the ideal climate for growing Zweigelt and St. Laurent, as well as international varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Josef sadly died much too early and his wife and son René Pöckl ran it until René finally took over the helm this year. Two quotes from father and son sum up the philosophy of the winery, "A vintner who does not know his soil, his vines and his climate conditions extremely well can never make a great wine." And, "What you fail to work out in the vineyard, you can't make up for in the cellar." Consumers can taste this, too, because Pöckl wines show the regional typicality, the climate, the location as well as the care of their vineyard work and beautiful vinification. René Pöckl found the limelight with his "Rêve de Jeunesse" when he was just a young man, and he has continued to perform successfully at the Falstaff red wine awards many times since. Along with the multiple award-winning "Admiral", it represents one of the winery's top wines. Their Pinot Noir, which repeatedly reaches a podium position at the Falstaff awards is also much sought after. It is vinified in small quantities and is one of the Pöckls' darlings due to its viticultural challenges. Furthermore, the winery surprises again and again with new wine concepts. Their most famous niche wine is "Mystique", which is up there with the greats of the wine world. "Mystique" is actually a research wine with which the winery explores the possibilities in the vineyard and in vinification. The insights gained are then incorporated into the production of their entire range. This is one of the reasons why the ageing potential of the best wines from the house of Pöckl can hardly be surpassed and why, with some bottle maturity, they stand for the highest drinking pleasure. Pöckl also provides daily drinking pleasure with the "Solo Rosso", the Zweigelt Classique or - for more sophisticated tastes - with the cuvée "Rosso e Nero". In favourable years, excellent Prädikat wines are also made. Due to the continuous outstanding performance over many years, their constant quest for new wine styles and their willingness to trial and embrace different vineyard and vinification techniques, the winery is the proud bearer of five stars and thus part of the vintner elite.

Di Giovanna

Sambuca Di Sicilia (AG), Italy

Celebrating 25 years (1997-2022) of certified organic viticulture & winemaking in Sicily. Often when we talk about Sicily, we think of long sunny stretches of seaside vineyards. This isn't the case at Di Giovanna, an oasis of biodiversity inside the mountains of the Monte Genuardo Nature Reserve. The family's viticulture tradition dates back five generations. In the 1980s, when the family vineyards were consolidated and replanted, Barbara and Aurelio Di Giovanna, with sons Gunther and Klaus, began their journey towards quality viticulture. Today the Di Giovanna brothers, adept and profoundly dedicated to their land, are assisted by Gianfranco Zito, who takes care of the winemaking operations. The five family vineyards are located in the small DOC’s of Contessa Entellina (Palermo) and Sambuca di Sicilia (Agrigento), in the heart of the Terre Sicane. The white varietals include: Grillo, Catarratto, Zibibbo, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Viognier and the red varietals: Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Syrah, Merlot. The wine cellar, constructed in 2003, is home to the entire vinification process from the grape to the bottle. It's centrally located between the five family vineyards to ensure the highest quality control. Their white, rosè and red wines are united an expressive yet elegant character. They are crafted with an artisanal philosophy and preserves a strong identity of territory. All of Di Giovanna wines are 100% estate produced and bottled, certified organic. The annual production is 250,000 bottles.

Quinta do Noval

Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Quinta do Noval is a historic name with iconic status in the world of wine. But it is, above all, a vineyard in the heart of the Douro Valley since the early 18th century. Known throughout the world for its Port wines, like the Quinta do Noval Vintage Port made from a strict selection of the best wines from our 181-hectare vineyard or indeed our aged Tawny Ports and Colheitas, Quinta do Noval produces excellent wines that bear the stamp of their origin. The subtle differences in aspect, climate and soil of the various parcels of this extensive vineyard give the wines of Noval complexity and depth that are unique to Quinta do Noval. AN EXCEPTIONAL TERROIR Quinta do Noval benefits from a privileged position in the heart of the Douro Valley. The vineyard entirely classified letter A is planted with the noblest grape varieties of the Douro: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinto Cão, and Sousão. Today, the parcels are replanted in single grape variety plots to suit each individual parcel of land, according to three principal factors: the altitude, the exposition and the type of planting of the vine. The magnificent old terraces made with schiste stone still represent Quinta do Noval's vineyard. TRADITIONS RETAINED Because the varieties are planted in single varietal blocks, it is possible to pick the optimum moment for harvesting each parcel. ‘All Noval’s estate-produced ports will continue to be fermented in stone lagares. This is a traditional method, tested by time. THE PARTICULARITY OF OUR NACIONAL VINTAGE PORT Quinta do Noval Nacional Vintage Port comes from a small plot at the heart of the Noval vineyard, planted with ungrafted vines of native grape varieties. If the Nacional Vintage is in such great demand, it is partly because of the tiny quantities we produce, only 200 to 250 cases each year of declaration. TOUR AND TASTING Quinta do Noval is open every day of the year upon appointment for a private tour and tasting. All visits are available by reservation only. Tel +351 22 3770270 noval@quintadonoval.pt We also welcome our visitors in two visitors centres: The first wine shop is located at Vila Nova de Gaia and has welcomed those interested in discovering our history and tasting Port wines since 1995. Contact: rosario@quintadonoval.pt A second wine shop opened in 2020 on the quays of Pinhão in the heart of the Douro Valley in an ancient Port cellar, near our vineyards where the wines are made. This new centre is a place of discovery, of exchange of information, and above all of the wine tasting. Address: 15 Rua da Praia, 5085 Pinhão. Contact: Tel +351 933770285 / lojapinhao@quintadonoval.pt 

Weingut Josef & Philipp Bründlmayer

Grunddorf, Austria

Love and passion for the craft are still the best prerequisites for achieving quality. This is especially true for the production of something so pleasurable as wine from the Kremstal region. Philipp Bründlmayer pursues this passionate dedication to wine production. Consequently, his wines are heavenly: varietally pure, straightforward, and of distinctive origin. In Grunddorf, in the last corner of the Kamptal, they are stored and matured in steel tanks and large wooden barrels. However, they originate from the mighty loess terraces of Gedersdorf and Rohrendorf and thus bear the Kremstal designation of origin. A beautiful location, ideal for winegrowing. Here, climatic conditions prevail that are essential for the aroma formation and character of the wine. In addition to knowledge, craftsmanship and climate, the quality of the soil is a decisive factor in the creation of great wines. In the Kremstal, loess and conglomerate form the ideal terroir for the typically dry wines for which Austria as a wine country is so highly regarded. Philipp and Josef Bründlmayer practice viticulture with a down-to-earth approach and an appreciation of tradition. The vineyards that the estate cultivates could not be better suited to this philosophy: they are unruly, almost impassable, and need to be worked by hand. But they are also - if left to their own devices and approached properly - an ideal place for those varieties for which this region is so well known and loved. At Philipp Bründlmayer, wines are allowed to candidly reveal where they flourished - without frills. On 25 hectares, his winery cultivates over 100 different vineyards with a wide variety of microclimates. He not only bottles wines that are distinctive varietal but also bears his unmistakable signature. With no more than one gram of residual sugar, all wines are particularly dry and thus ambassadors of their region -genuine Kremstal wines!

Roxanich Winery & Restaurant

Motovun, Croatia

Roxanich is specialized in rare, long aged, natural wines from ancient Venetian lands. The spectacular winery is located in the medieval town of Motovun in Istria. Every Roxanich wine is a reflection of the magical place where it was created, and the strict natural, organic philosophy behind it. Freedom by Nature: Nestled between the heartland of Istrian winemaking and the Venetian coasts, in one of the world’s most picturesque viticultural landscapes, Mladen Rožanić and his six daughters - the eponymous Sorelle - continue not only to produce strictly limited quantities of wines with heritages stretching back hundreds of years, but also to evolve new varieties, producing authentic wines in harmony with nature. This rich history permeates everything they do: from the careful control of their deliberately small-scale production, to their strict adherence to organic, natural winemaking. Today, the Roxanich selection of 20 organic labels, ranges from crisp whites to honeysuckle rosés, to long aged and macerated white, orange and deep, dark and rich reds, divided into three distinct collections: PHILOSOPHY, SORELLE and FIRST ROSES. No winemaker has shaped the natural wine scene like Mladen Rožanić in recent years. With a maximum of knowledge, he brings wines to bottles with a minimum of intervention. This thinking created Mladen’s ultimate vision of vinifying and ageing international and indigenous varietals - such as Teran, Merlot, Borgonja Istriana, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, as expressed in his premium, signatory “Philosophy” range. In the vineyard - only natural elements like copper and sulphur are admitted in minimal quantities. Grapes are vinified in specially shaped barrels - wooden vats of 55 to 75 hl capacity - where fermentation and maceration take place. After pressing and first decanting, the wine is reracked in these same vats as well as 36 hl casks, where it is kept to age and mature for years. The wines are characterized by long skin contact which varies from vintage to vintage – 4 to 8 weeks for the reds, and for the whites from a day up to six months. More than 26 hectares of own, single estate vineyards, from Croatia’s most dramatic and coveted wine-growing region, ‘Red Istria’, supply Roxanich with grapes already bursting with flavour, untarnished by pesticides or any forms of artificial enrichment. Named for its striking red, iron-rich limestone soil, its neutral acidity and high minerality make it perfect for growing many of the region’s signature varietals. Roxanich’s eclectic, contemporary winery, featuring a sublime zero-kilometer cuisine and 32 rooms design hotel, rests perched on a hillside beneath the gentle shadow of Motovun, overlooking the dreamlike scenery of the Mirna River valley. Swanky and sophisticated, the rooms and suites are an ideal home away from home, while you explore Istria.

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