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Monthly Archives: March 2012

  • Yealands Estate joins Enotria

    We are very pleased to announce that from 1 May 2012 Yealands Estate , the New Zealand winery renowned for high sustainability across its production, will join the Enotria range. Yealands Estate, one of a handful of wineries around the world to be certified as carbon neutral, produces its range of Estate wines from its uniquely innovative, sustainable winery in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough.

    Founded by dynamic environmental entrepreneur Peter Yealands, the winery was the first in the world to become an approved supplier to the UK's Sustainable Restaurant Association, and was runner up for the Sustainability Award at the Drinks Business Green Awards 2012.

    Enotria buyer for New Zealand, Daniel Hart, says

    "We welcome Yealands Estate to our already strong New Zealand line up. They complement our established premium, regionally representative Portfolio re-enforcing our credentials as a supplier of high quality wine from every part of the world.

    “Yealand's arrival fits perfectly with our philosophy to develop our Portfolio to suit the ever changing marketplace, consumer demands and key sales channels that are in biggest growth. Crucially it also adds Carbon Neutral to the successful 'sustainable' element in our Portfolio alongside Organic, Bio-Dynamic and Fairtrade. The innovations in sustainability that Yealands Estate have brought about are an example to the whole wine world. These are great wines with a great story behind them. "

    For more information about this unique producer, visit

  • Food and wine matching al veronese

    Fiona Beckett, whose website does exactly what it says in the link, has just returned from Verona where she ate at the legendary osteria Al Pompiere ('The Fireman's Place'). The (many) dishes served were matched to Bertani wines. One dish, tagliatelle with artichoke hearts, looked like it might defeat any red thrown at it. But, as Fiona reveals...

    "There was a pasta of the day - tagliatelle with artichoke hearts that I suspect had been par boiled then slowly cooked with oil and butter, served simply with parmesan - a revelation with Bertani’s Secco Valpolicella Valpantena 2010, which is made in the ‘ripasso’ style. Artichokes and red wine are normally a complete no-no, making the wine taste oddly sweet but with the existing touch of sweetness in the wine that didn’t happen."

    So an age-old conundrum may be solved! You can read the whole piece here

    Al Pompiere has a good website with some mouthwatering photos and recipes.

  • The ipad 3 winner is...

    Tina Brown of the Old Queens Head in Penn, High Wycombe wins a very desirable ipad 3 in our Annual tasting competition. Visitors at the tasting were invited to guess which wines certain wine descriptions applied to.

    Tina correctly determined that "Drink outside the box with this weird and wonderful creation from the grape which also brings the world Sherry" referred to Elki Pedro Ximinez from Chile,

    and that "This powerful red is not for the faint-hearted; swirl the wine around in the glass and you’ll be sucked into a vortex of wild herbs leather black plums and winter woodsmoke" was describing Salice Salentino from Candido. Many of you got the correct answers - so well done to all; but as with so many good things there could be only one winner, and Tina's name came out of the hat. Congratulations - and soon she'll be able to order her wine using our mobile website which launches imminently.

  • Pictures from the tasting

    Some nice pictures taken by GWW's own Dan Watkiss at our Annual Tasting on 27th February.

  • Great tasting video

    Brett Jones, aka @thewinemaestro has sent us this fab video montage from our Annual Tasting at One Marylebone on 27th February. It captures nicely some of the characters - and of course the wines - which were grabbing people's attention on the day. Thanks Brett!

  • South African Chenin 'nears tipping point'

    Here is an extract from an interesting article by Gabriel Savage on

    Chenin Blanc from South Africa is approaching a “tipping point”, according to one of the variety’s biggest pioneers, Ken Forrester. The winemaker, whose own FMC has done much to promote the potential of this widespread but historically under-rated grape variety, reported a growing enthusiasm for Chenin Blanc, saying: “It’s building its own momentum now.”

    The most recent figures from 2010 show that Chenin represents 18% of South Africa’s total hectares under vine, compared to the 10% share for Sauvignon Blanc and 8% share for Chardonnay.

    However, while these latter two varieties have seen their proportions more than double since 1990, plantings of Chenin almost halved in that time, as many winemakers put their faith in more widely available international grapes.

    However, Forrester, who is also head of the Chenin Blanc Association, is convinced of a reversal in the variety’s fortunes. “More producers are planting Chenin and making serious wine,” he confirmed. This view of a resurgence was supported by Pieter du Toit, marketing manager for Cederberg. With the winery’s production neatly balanced between Sauvignon and Chenin, du Toit confirmed a recent shift in fashion towards the latter.

    “It’s so funny to watch the ‘trendies’,” he remarked. “A few years ago they didn’t like Chenin, but now they’re buying it and this is the second year it’s sold out first. I don’t think you can ignore the trend.”

    Praising the variety’s potential for longevity when handled correctly, Forrester pointed to Chenin’s high natural acidity, “a great preservative”, as he maintained that the variety “can go pound for pound, year for year against Chardonnay.”

    To prove this point, Forrester recently held a 10 year vertical tasting of his FMC wine in South Africa, followed by a five year version in the UK. Forrester also pointed to the variety’s rising popularity as a blending component, especially in warmer regions such as Swartland, “where it’s too hot for Chenin on its own.” Explaining its appeal, Forrester observed: “It provides a lovely neutral structure for blending and breadth of palate.”

    Adding further weight to Chenin’s cause is the large number of old vines in South Africa, many of which were previously neglected or saw their fruit sent to co-ops. However, as the variety comes back into fashion, Forrester remarked, “they’re now emerging as a bit of a gem.”

    You can read the original version of this article here.

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