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Monthly Archives: June 2014

  • Why Fairtade is a Big Deal

    With the news that Arniston Bay has received Fairtrade certification for its The Coast range, Fairtrade certified wines are set to become a huge presence in the UK market.

    Arniston Bay’s brand owners, Stellenbosch Vineyards, were the company responsible for launching the first ever Fairtrade wine and this is another important milestone for Managing Director Eduan Steynberg, who says, “we are proud to be leaders again, in the conversion of a well-established international brand like Arniston Bay The Coast to Fairtrade”.

    According to Brand and Business Development Manager Paul Waddingham, Arniston Bay should become one of the scheme’s largest contributors due to its growing global popularity. The wines are available through the Co-operative in the UK and, as Waddingham says,“wine consumers will be able to support the South African communities growing the grapes for the production of these wines. This additional Fairtrade contribution will make a real difference to the families working there.”

    The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that licenses use of the Fairtrade Mark after analysing products and practices to ensure they meet internationally agreed standards set out by their certification body.

    The organisation’s mission is to ensure a “decent and dignified livelihood” through good working conditions, investment in skills development and an emphasis on sustainability for the future.

    Farmers are guaranteed a Fairtrade Minimum plus a Fairtrade Premium to invest in community projects, and there is a Fairtrade Farmworker Trust funded by a levy applied to each unit sold. The Trust enables workers’ families to benefit from and after-school child care arrangements and transportation to school and sports activities.

    Arniston Bay The Coast is available as red or white, and is packaged in 750 ml and 3 litre bag-in-box formats.

  • He Shoots...He scores!

    For some respite from World Cup fever, we caught up with Matt Fowles of Fowles Wine whose wines ‘Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch’ and ‘Are you Game?’  are scoring highly wherever they go.

    Matt, you’ve just won a Gold in the Sommelier Wine Awards – you must feel pretty good right now...

    We’re absolutely stoked to win Gold with our Ladies who Shoot their Lunch Chardonnay. Like us, these Sommeliers live and breathe wine and food every day, and it's great to see a meeting of the minds particularly for a wine we blend for wild food!

    Your ‘Are you Game?’ Shiraz was chosen as one of the 100 Best Australian Wines in Matthew Jukes’ list – what does this accolade mean to you?

    To have been selected as one of Australia's leading wines by someone of Matthew's calibre is humbling, particularly given the quality and diversity of Australian wine in the UK. We feel this accolade is a significant recognition for our region, the Strathbogie Ranges, and testament to the tireless work of our team.

    Strathbogie Ranges – what makes this area of Victoria so unique?

    The Strathbogies are unique.  Everyone says that, but we really are unique. In a global context, our soils are more ancient than Europe and most wine growing regions in Australia/Victoria ensuring low yields.  We are inland and elevated – whereas many Australian wine regions are closer to the coast and have maritime influence or rest in valleys – which ensures we have a cooler climate with strong diurnal shifts.  And we are in one of the windiest and driest parts of Victoria which helps keep frosts and disease at bay. Our sense of place is one of rugged elegance – firm and full, yet lifted aromas and lovely natural acid.  The aromatics we can achieve are our greatest gift from Mother Nature.

    The Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch range is designed to match wine style with game – what flavours and textures in the wine do you think work best with this kind of meat?

    As a sustainable hunter (one who eats everything he shoots), a wine lover and committed foodie, I was determined to make a wine that complemented the unique characters of wild meat. Game from the wild forages on natural herbs and grasses and do not enjoy the high energy diets of their domesticated counterparts.  As a result, game meat is different to commercially reared meat - it is naturally very lean and dense, and can be texturally challenging to the palate.  It also has distinctive aromas and flavours that vary from beast to beast. Ladies who Shoot their Lunch wines are crafted to be generously aromatic, yet with a fine structure – to walk the fine line between complementing the qualities of game meat, whilst not overwhelming them.

    The labels are striking (and award-winning) - what was the aim of the design?

    I already knew I wanted to call it Ladies who Shoot their Lunch – I like the juxtaposition of the stereotypes of ladies lunching and hunting… And I like the suggestion that understanding the source of your meat and wine is so important that everyone – at least once – should go out there and see it themselves…

    But how do you wrap that sentiment up inside a label? Well, while I was deliberating, I happened to be in an auction house and remember calling out “that’s my lady who shoots her lunch” – a 1920s art deco statue of the most glamorous woman heading off to the field; shotgun over her shoulder and dog by her side.  Sadly, I couldn’t stay at the auction but left the auctioneer with an open cheque book and clear instructions that we wanted the statue…  Well, let's just say the reserve was modest and the amount we ended up paying wasn't!

  • Angela Mount to chair New World, Ancient Soils

    With one week to go, Enotria is excited to announce that the panel chair of the New World, Ancient Soils panel tastings in London and Bath will be senior judge, writer and presenter, Angela Mount.

    Angela famously had her taste buds insured for £10 million by her former employers, Somerfield, and is currently in demand as a judge for the International Wine Challenge and the International Wine & Spirit Competition.

    As a writer, Angela is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail’s wine review pages and the wine trade magazine, Harpers Wine & Spirit.

    Angela will be chairing the panel of inspiring winemakers from all over the world, bringing together unique insights from the New World and how modern wines are being crafted from the ancient soils of their wine regions.

    Featured Winemakers Dana Stemmler, Associate Winemaker, Bogle Vineyards Steve Green, Assistant Winemaker & Owner, Carrick Giorgio Flessati, Winemaker, Falernia Jeff & Amy Burch, Owners, Howard Park Guillermo Barzi Canale, President & Consultant Winemaker, Humberto Canale Henry Kotze, Winemaker, Morgenster Martin Meinert, Owner & Winemaker, Meinert Wines David Moore, Vineyard Manager, Omero Cellars

    For a taste of the winemaking talent on show at the events in London, Bath, York and Edinburgh, read on...

    Bogle Vineyards Winemaker Dana Stemmler's interest in winemaking was first piqued on a trip to Italy with her aunt in 2000. With a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Davis, Dana joined the Bogle team as lab technician, but quickly took over the lab as enologist. In 2013, Dana was promoted to Associate Winemaker and today continues to champion quality in all the wines Bogle produces.

    Carrick Steve Green is the assistant winemaker and owner of Carrick, a small, premium, certified organic winery in Bannockburn Central Otago that he and his wife Barbara established in 1993. Steve is also a board member of Wine New Zealand and is a past President of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association. Steve's wines continue to win over the critics both at home and abroad.

    Falernia Although Falernia is a Chilean winery, its winemaker Giorgio Flessati hails from Trentino, Northern Italy. He began his Chilean project in 1998 alongside cousin Aldo Olivier, planting the country's most northerly vineyards in Elqui Valley. Their third vineyard, Huente, lies at an altitude of 2000m making it one of the highest vineyards in the world.

    Howard Park Howard Park really is a family business. Owners, husband & wife team Jeff and Amy Burch, are members of Australia’s First Families of Wine, establishing their pastoral Margaret River vineyards in 1988. Jeff's late father Leston Burch was the inspiration behind their Leston Vineyard and these days their three children play an active role in winery operations.

    Humberto Canale Humberto Canale was a pioneering engineer who played a significant role in developing agriculture in Patagonia, Argentina, building the winery in 1909. Four generations later, Guillermo Barzi Canale has nurtured its 100th vintage after successfully modernising the vineyard and winery practices. The cool climate of this part of Argentina is ideal for aromatic varieties such as Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Meinert Wines Martin Meinert graduated with a Viticulture and Oenology B.Sc. in 1984, and five years later was creating the new Vergelegen winery. Over the years he has travelled extensively, working vintages for iconic producers such as Château Lafite Rothschild. Martin's own wines include the highly rated Synchronicity blend and Printer’s Ink Pinotage. Collaboration with friend and fellow winemaker Ken Forrester has produced a new icon in the form of FMC, Forrester Meinert Chenin. (Bath and London Only)

    Morgenster After obtaining his B.Sc Degree in Oenology at the University of Stellenbosch, Henry Kotzé cut his winemaking teeth at Vergelegen, Boschendal and Neil Ellis Wines. In 2009 Henry joined Morgenster with the goal of elevating the winery to the upper echelons of the world's wine industry. With a fine terroir and a consultation team that includes Château Cheval Blanc and Giulio Bertrand, it looks like he is turning his dream into a reality.

    Omero Cellars David began his career as a classically trained chef in the Las Vegas fine dining scene but nowadays channels his talents into the production of the fine wines of Omero Cellars. He tends the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay fruit of Omero's Willamette vineyards in Oregon, farming the land sensitively through minimal intervention to achieve Omero’s pursuit of “Cultivating Elegance”.

    Contact if you would like more details of this event.

  • Fizzy Logic – Jacquart’s Award Winning Wines

    This week we’re celebrating ‘Fizz Friday’ in the company of our friends at Jacquart who have just won medals at the Sommelier Wine Awards for four of their Champagnes available through Enotria.

    Jacquart, Brut Mosaïque NV, Champagne, France

    Jacquart’s non-vintage house cuvée is aptly named, describing the assemblage of wines from a mosaic of grape varieties, vineyards and vintages. Jacquart’s enviable relationships with top growers mean that a proportion of the grapes picked are the fruit of the Champagne region’s best sites, known as Grand Crus. This wine won a Bronze, with Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering remarking on the wine’s ‘lively and balanced’ structure.

    Jacquart, Cuvée Alpha, Vintage 2005, Champagne, France

    The Cuvée Alpha is a vintage Champagne based on four crus from the Montagne de Reims – Mailly, Verzenay, Villers-Marmery and Trépail. It is Jacquart’s prestige cuvée, rightfully receiving a place on the wine awards’ Gold List this year. The Harrow’s Roger Jones liked the combination of its ‘great intensity and subtlety’, while Natasha Hughes concluded that the wine was ‘very graceful.’

    Jacquart, Blanc de Blancs, Vintage 2006, Champagne, France

    Although 2006 was a challenging year with many climatic obstacles, the conditions gave the wine a purity and finesse that was recognised by a Silver Award. Made from Chardonnay in solo, the grapes were picked from Jacquart’s Premier Cru vineyards in the villages of Côte des Blancs and Montagne de Reims. Describing the wine’s many qualities was Roger Jones of The Harrow, who called this elegant fizz ‘beautiful and well balanced.’

    Jacquart, Brut Mosaïque Rosé NV, Champagne, France

    This exquisitely hued rosé Champagne takes the elegance of Chardonnay and rounds the palate with the ripeness of Pinot Meunier. The blend is then treated to around 15 – 18% red wine made from Pinot Noir, and balanced with Jacquart’s trademark light dosage of around 10g /l. Olivier Marie of Coq d'Argent was particularly taken with this Silver Award winner, noting not only the abundance of red berry fruit but also notes of gingerbread spice, culminating in an ‘unctuous mousse and a long length.’

    I’m sure Jacquart will be celebrating in style this weekend!

  • d’Arenberg joins the Enotria Portfolio

    Enotria is pleased to announce that Australian winery d’Arenberg will be joining the award-winning portfolio. This addition complements Enotria's premium collection of quality Australian producers, and d'Arenberg wines represent regionality at its most exciting.

    Enotria now represents three of the 12 members of Australia’s First Families of Wine. As they continue to build a portfolio of the very best producers, this is testament to their position as the UK’s best specialist wine company and reinforces the focus on quality and character.

    Established in 1912, and now into its fourth generation of family ownership in McLaren Vale, South Australia, d’Arenberg produces an enviable range of wines. From humble beginnings, these wines quickly gained cult status amongst imbibers and judges alike – it’s a deft combination of winemaking tradition and vinous innovation. A tall order for some, but one that d’Arenberg takes in their stride as they continue to push the boundaries and get under the skin of each individual vineyard in order to get the best from the vines. This is backed up by an engaging consumer-friendly approach to the ‘deadly serious fun’ of wine.

    The effervescent and always colourfully turned out Chief Winemaker Chester Osborn, who runs the business with his father d’Arry, has said: “We look to the future with excitement as we begin working with Enotria, a company widely recognised as the UK’s leading specialist wine supplier. With Enotria’s in-depth understanding of the market, we are confident the d'Arenberg brand and our famous red stripe will continue to grow in strength and recognition under their watchful eye.”

    Enotria’s Commercial Director, Mark Kermode, added: “We are delighted to welcome d’Arenberg to the portfolio – they are a producer of great pedigree and personality. This is a fantastic addition and the whole team is excited to get their hands on the wines and work with the winery to grow sales, and continue to develop the d’Arenberg brand journey in the UK.

    "We have a clear and focused sales and marketing approach and further to that, our market knowledge and relationships across the trade are second to none. At all levels, in all that we do, we are absolutely focused on quality.”

    Enotria will be taking on distribution of d’Arenberg on June 23rd  and Chester will be in the UK in September for Enotria's 'Pioneers & Personalities' seminars and tastings.

    Australia’s First Families of Wine – what you need to know:

    Three of our producers, d’Arenberg, Burch Family Wines and Henschke are members of AFFW. This is a collective of 12 multi-generational family-owned wine producers, representing 17 wine growing regions and 48 generations of winemakers. The aim of this group is to showcase a diverse range of the very best of Australian wine – real wines, beautifully crafted, with true character. The families joined forces to challenge and change the perception of Australian wine production as a great corporate entity – this initiative is all about the unique stories and equally unique personalities.

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