Varietal focus:

Sonoma strikes for coolness

Published on March 31, 2010

Sonoma, in California, made its cool climate case at a recent seminar in London, showing mostly pinot noirs with two chardonnays, a couple of classic grape varieties associated with cool climate viticulture.

Syrah/shiraz from around the world – a blind tasting

Published on March 27, 2010

Every few months I organise a themed tasting seminar for a group of local business people. We taste blind and discuss the wines.

German pinot noir, emerging excellence

Published on March 15, 2010

The recent emergence of German pinot noir (spätburgunder) on the world stage was revisited with this tasting seminar, held at Staatsdomäne Assmansshausen in Rüdesheim, Germany, in late September 2009, as part of a Master of Wine visit to the region.

Viña Casa Silva: Veritable Carmenère Specialist

Published on March 7, 2010

Carmenère specialist Viña Casa Silva, in conjunction with research institutions in Chile and Germany, is researching the best carmenère clones to make better quality wine.

South African shiraz

Published on February 9, 2010

Shiraz plantings have increased from 2% of the vineyard area just over a decade ago, to 10% today. It is now the fourth most planted variety in South Africa.

Alto Adige pinot noir

Published on February 5, 2010

Pinot noir accounts for less than 7% of the Alto Adige vineyard area, not quite 350 hectares. Even so it is still considered a core variety for the region, having been first planted here in the mid 19th century.

Syrah in France

Published on January 21, 2010

Syrah is France’s third most planted black grape variety (after merlot and grenache). And there’s more in the Languedoc and Roussillon than there is in the Rhône valley, though it’s the latter region that claims the variety as its own, and more specifically the northern Rhône, where syrah reaches one its apogees.

South African sauvignon blanc

Published on December 31, 2009

South Africa’s vineyards are moving towards both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts, and the variety mainly being planted in these cooler regions is sauvignon blanc.

Grüner veltliner

Published on December 18, 2009

Grüner veltliner is Austria’s flagship white grape variety, the best of which have beaten Burgundian chardonnays in blind tasting assessments of quality.

Regional New Zealand Pinot Noir?

Published on November 25, 2009

Pinot noir is the second most planted grape variety in New Zealand, and arguably the second best place in the world to be making pinot noir.

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