People & Places

Wine without food would be terribly rude....

If anything about my recent trip to Angers and the Loire Valley has got you thumbing your Lonely Planet guide to France then I can’t finish this tale without telling you about the food because that’s what’s going to get you booking your ticket. It was délicieuse.

Discovering Pewsey Vale in Eden Valley

Pewsey Vale, Eden Valley, Louisa Rose, Riesling

Last week’s Royal Queensland Wine Show awarded the trophy for best 2012 harvest white wine to Pewsey Vale Riesling (96).

That put the spotlight on both the wines from the 2012 crop and a vineyard origin which is Eden Valley, South Australia.

Louisa Rose, the charming Yalumba chief winemaker is responsible for Pewsey Vale drops. She oversees wines with delicacy, even to the point of the female touch.

Fancy a (F)Vondeling?

A great friend of mine, Bryn Stephens, has recently spent 3 months working in South Africa, in the region of Voor-Paardeberg. He was working as a 'cellar rat', helping with the grape picking and carefully watching and taking part in the wine making process.

Since returning to the bleak UK, Bryn has taken a new role as brand ambassador for the Vondeling winery he worked in and I was lucky enough to taste the full range of their wines recently.

The wines of Vondeling are great value, with all of my favourites being under £10 a bottle. Let's start with the whites.

Savennières: it’s Chenin Jim but not as we know it....

Chateau des Vaults

The first stop on our tour of the Loire was the little village of Savennières (SAV-EN-NEE-YEAH!), an exclusively white wine producing appellation where only Chenin Blanc is permitted for wines labelled with the AOC. It produces wine from this familiar grape that are almost unrecognisable compared to what we know as commercial Chenin. Forming two extremes there are the über dry Savennières and the super sweet.

A Look at Villa Maria Estate - New Zealand

The news could not come at a better time-Villa Maria were celebrating their fifty years since establishment in New Zealand’s North Island. Villa Maria Estate’s founder and owner Sir George Fistonich recently won a Wine Intelligence 10 for 10 Business Award at Vinexpo Asia Pacific. Around Auckland the Dalmatian Coast-Croatian genes run strong in grape circles, along with the motivation to make and sel