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  • National Rum Day

    fresh mojito in the bar

    Words: Ben Gibbins

    It’s August, which means it’s nearly International Talk Like a Pirate Day [19th September if you’re interested] but more importantly it means that National Rum Day is almost upon us, with August 16th giving us an excuse to raise a glass to the spirits behemoth that is rum in all it’s forms.

    Bartenders will use Wednesday to pronounce that rum is the next big thing, which it is, but also has been for the last decade. Rum is still big – in 2015 the mojito was the most ordered cocktail in the UK – but specifically spiced rum is the next big thing, with growth up year on year whilst the rest of the rum world remains relatively flat. But more on that later.

    Rum has a long and interesting history mixing myths and truths dependent on who you talk to. Sugar as first discovered in South East Asia; brum (sugar wine) was noted in 14th century Iran; and later distillation became commonplace on the Caribbean sugar plantations in 17th century as the Western taste for the grass ‘that brought forth honey without the need for bees’ grew. The first taste of sugar spirits would have come in the Caribbean from molasses being cast aside in vats, they are produced as a by-product of sugar production, where it was watered down by rain and naturally fermented, creating a low-wine drunk by the workers. The Spanish were the first to distill this ‘wine’ into a spirit, nicknamed Kil Devil as it would ‘kill the devil inside you’! Rum’s big boom followed that of the sugar industry, growing in conjunction with the slave trade, a trade triangle being established between Africa, the Caribbean and the American Colonies exchanging sugar for rum, and rum for slaves. This currency value was hugely important, with rum used as legal tender across America and Europe for a number of years across all levels of society – in fact George Washington insisted on a barrel of Barbados rum at his inauguration.

    Rum became linked to naval tradition at the same time, with Lord Nelson’s body reportedly transported home in a rum barrel after Trafalgar, and the Royal Navy’s daily rum ration only coming to an end in 1970.

    Most rum is produced in sugar cane growing countries, with the Caribbean and South/Central America producing the most well-known brands, with most using molasses as their base ingredient. The production methods are generally similar, but the location plays a key part in the final taste, and this can crudely be defined along the lines of language and colonialism.

    Old rum distillery, factory in St.Lucia. Old rum distillery, factory in St.Lucia.

    English Speaking Island (Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica…): Tend to be distilled in a pot still and column still resulting in a darker rum with a fuller-bodied style.

    Spanish Speaking Islands and Latin America (Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela…): Usually column distilled for a lighter, more mixable rum ideal for cocktails.

    French Speaking Islands (Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique…): Produce a different product – rhum agricole – made from fresh sugar cane juice rather than molasses for a zesty, herbal note.

    The diversity of rum has spread the world over though with India producing a drier version, Cachaca made in Brazil, anise-infused Aquardiente from various points in South America, Tuzemak in the Czech Republic, Ron Miel from the Canary Islands and Stroh in Austria.

    Yeast, ageing and blending are vitally important in rum production having a profound impact on the taste profile and style of the final product. Producers of lighter rums use fast acting yeasts to keep the number of esters (flavours) lower, whilst fuller, richer rums use slower yeasts for added flavour. Ageing varies from one location to another, with many countries requiring at least a year. Bourbon casks are a popular choice but rum producers are now experimenting with ‘finishing’ in different casks to alter the flavour. There is a downside to long ageing though – the angel’s share in the tropics is usually 10% of the total volume a year (compared to 2% in Scotland) – meaning long-aged rums are incredibly expensive with only a fraction of the original liquid remaining. Blending is common in most rums, ensuring consistency and maintaining the quality of rums produced.

    High angle view of two glasses of rum-cola cocktail with ice served on the bar. Vintage colour look.

    This longer ageing has become increasingly popular with the use of aged rum on sipping and digestif menus across the country.

    Then there is spiced rum, which now sits as its own category and is almost solely accountable for the rise in rum sales in recent years, its popularity growing as a characterful base for cocktails and mixed drinks. The additional flavours of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger were once used to mask inferior spirits but now serve to enhance quality base spirits.

    Across all these categories and variants rum is a greatly versatile product working perfectly in classic mixed drinks such as a Cuba Libre or a Dark ‘n Stormy (a drink even trademarked by Goslings Rum); the eponymous Pina Colada – the national drink of Puerto Rico since 1978; in tiki drinks like a Mai Tai or a Beachcomber; and in re-worked classics like a rum old-fashioned.

    So this National Rum Day, why not try something summery and exciting, or revisit an old favourite, but swap in rum for a new take on the familiar? Agricole is a great alternative to tequila, light rums for vodka and gin, and darker, aged rums in place of bourbon and whisky.

  • The story of Chianti

    Landscape in Chianti region, Tuscany, Italy

    First things first

    Since the Middle Ages, Florence was the most powerful of the city-states, and the epicentre of commercial winemaking. In the 14th century, the Florentine Republic identified the hills between Florence and Siena as Chianti. Chianti was the first real delimited wine zon, when in 1716 Grand Duke Cosimo III de Medici created what is believed to be the first legislation governing wine production.

    In the 1870s, following extensive research through France and Germany studying every possible way of growing vines, Baron Bettino Ricasoli narrowed down the Chianti formula to three Tuscan grape varieties: Sangioveto (Sangiovese) for its aromas; Canaiolo for its sweetness to balance the acidity of the latter; and Malvasia to give freshness. In Bordeaux terms, Canaiolo is to Sangiovese what Merlot is to Cabernet.

    In the 20th century, a series of unfortunate events occurred in Chianti. First, the original zone (now referred to as the classic zone) expanded to include huge parts of central Tuscany; then in 1967, the Ricasoli formula became doctrine allowing for up to 30% white varieties in the blend. Finally, the mass exodus that started in the 1950s from the Tuscan countryside prompted the Italian Government and EU to finance large-scale replanting of the Tuscan vineyards, with a focus on mass production.

    The mouth puckering, brown-at-the edge red in a straw-covered fiasco is the cheap image of Chianti that still haunts the industry. Piero Antinori acknowledged that “for so long, our wine culture was based on quantity, not quality”. He also concedes that “in the past, Italy produced mass quantities of wine because we were an agricultural economy and people used wine to quench thirst. After WW2, consumption dropped as we became more industrialised. But our mentality toward winemaking did not change”.

    The times they are a changin’

    Today, Chianti is not the wine it once was. It has undergone more profound changes in the past 30 years than any other wine in Italy, and now Chianti Classico is a source of world class reds. In 1984, Chianti and Chianti Classico were upgraded to DOCG, adjusting the formula with a minimum of only 2% white varieties, and allowing 105 foreign varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

    It changed again in 1996, eliminating the minimum of white grapes and allowing up to 15% foreign varieties. Yields were restricted, and new technologies were implemented in the cellar such as controlled temperature in stainless steel, and ageing in smaller barrels instead of the big chestnut botti. The Classico area was restricted to the original 7000ha, with lower yields and higher minimum Sangiovese (80%).

    In 1989, the Chianti Classico Consorzio started a research programme called Chianti Classico 2000. The main aim of the programme was to identify new clones of Sangiovese with thicker skin and sparser grape bunches. Parallel to this, some producers started their own clonal selection, replanting vineyards more densely, producing smaller quantities of fruit per vine. The mini revolution ignited by top estates prompted the change from 2000-5000 vines/ha, producing only one-two kilosper plant. The vintages from 1997 to 2000 were fantastic for Chianti Classico, due not only to the weather, but also to a refinement of the ingredients.

    Grape Harvest. Color Image

    The grape

    Although the variety is anything but easy, Sangiovese is Italy’s most abundant red variety, with over 70,000ha and 11% of all grape varieties in Italy. The origin of the name is debated, with some pointing to the mythological reference to the blood of Jupiter (Sanguis Jovis), and others to that of Saint John (di Giovanni).

    Its origins are unclear. It is thought to have originated in the Apennines between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany, with the first written reference dating back to 1590. In 2004, researchers determined through DNA testing that Sangiovese descends from Ciliegiolo.

    Sangiovese is very vigorous and has to be closely pruned. It’s sensitive to its environment and difficult to get fully ripe, which can also contribute to its high acidity. The variety tends to contain low levels of anthocyanins in its skin, giving less intense colour. For this reason, Canoiolo and especially Cororino are added to the Chianti blend. This is also the reason why Cabernet and Merlot became important in Tuscany. Clonal selection research efforts led to the development of looser bunches and less productive, early ripening and deeper hued clones of Sangiovese.

    The weather

    In Chianti the climate is overall very mild hotter in the valleys and cooler with more rainfall in the hillside areas.

    IMG_3113

    The soil

    The best soils for growing Sangiovese are not very fertile, well drained, with minimal water retention. The poor soils of Chianti galestro (friable marl with layers of sandstone/limestone) are probably the best of all. The optimal planting of vines is at a density of 5,000-7,000 plants per ha, with yields of 1.5kg per plant. In the cool Chianti Classico area the best results are in south/southwest facing slopes at 250/500m.

    From the heights of Gaiole, Greve, Castellina, Radda and Panzano the wines show perfume and power, with sour red cherries, red berries, liquorice, violet, tea leaf, and leather and tobacco with age. Often the wines have a sheen of new oak and are sweetened with Merlot and Cabernet. They are dense, dark and age-worthy, but still angular compared to the new world styles. The best Chianti Classico has a certain grace that does not fade with age.

  • New Zealand’s Green Team: Part One

    Angus&Cows CMYK

    In the first instalment in our series uncovering the green winemaking scene in New Zealand, we chat to Angus Thomson, owner of Urlar Estate, a family-owned winery producing outstanding single-vineyard wines following organic and biodynamic principles. Meaning ‘The Earth’ in Gaelic, the team’s desire is to bring an abundance of life back to their ancient soils so they can discover the purity of flavour inherent in the land.

    On Urlar’s winemaking philosophy…Our wine making philosophy is to let the Earth talk naturally. With minimal intervention in the vineyard and winery you will in every glass smell and taste our unique land.

    On taking a vineyard into organic production…The steps to go organic are simple. Firstly, get yourself certified. Anyone can say they are organic but the certification proves it. The next stage is to remove ALL synthetic fertilisers, weed sprays, fungicides and insecticides from use on the vineyard.  After three long years, you then remove all synthetic yeasts and winemaking aids from the winemaking process.

    Biodynamics is exactly the same as organics, but the process has more of a holistic approach. The use of the biodynamic calendar and making the compost preps is essential – biodynamics really tests who wants to do it and who doesn’t.

    Vineyard&Sheep

    On how the outcomes of organic production stack up against conventional growing methods…For me personally, the outcomes are massive and it goes far beyond what we’re just trying to do here at Urlar. This to me shows that you understand that there’s change in the world’s weather, and we need to look after the land for the next generation. Forget about now and the outcomes (OF course we want them to be better) but for me this is our small way of looking after the planet for the generations to come.

    On the characteristics of organic wine…I think that organically made wines have a far greater balance to them for a start. Biodynamic agriculture is about balancing your soil and from there everything that grows in it should be balanced. I also think you get more flavour in the grapes with lower sugar levels at picking, which means the alcohols are generally lower. Organic wines are more moody around the change of the seasons – they have really big highs but close up more when they go into a quiet patch. It is difficult to explain but I think organic/biodynamic wines have a certain soul to them and more energy when they’re drunk.

    Shaker_Table

    On lessons learnt from organic viniculture…The most interesting thing we’ve learnt is that you do not need all these crappy sprays to grow great grapes. We have no more powdery Mildew or Botrytis problems that conventional people have; in fact, a lot of the time we have far less.

    On the biggest barriers to organic viniculture… At the end of the day you have to want to be organic. If you want to just do it for marketing or money then you will give up. Cost wise it’s pretty similar – what we have found out is that we spend miles less on fancy sprays and fungicides, but we spend a lot more on weed control. So by the time you add the two together they balance each other out. Apart from that there are no real barriers to organic grape growing. Volume wise, because we’re aiming for premium wines, the crops are naturally lower anyway so we don’t see the drop in crop level that you may see if you are a big commercial grower.

    On the rising popularity of sustainable wines with consumers…Sustainable wine growing is just conventional grape growing, dressed up with a fancy name. In New Zealand, we have the Sustainable Wine Growing body that all wineries must belong to in order to export. However, in this group sustainable winegrowers are still allowed to use Roundup, fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides – is this really sustainable? The answer is yes it is because there are controls around when and how much.  But really sustainable viticulture is just a myth. However, if you truly want to be green and talk about organic and biodynamic winegrowing, then yes we’re definitely seeing growth in this category.

    Wild Flowers2

    On why they’re gaining in popularity…People really want to know that what they’re eating and drinking is good for them. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a young hipster or an older person, it’s all about health and doing something good for the environment.

    On the future of organic wine…The more the planet goes backwards, the we’re going to see a demand for this type of wine; the future is huge and will only keep growing. In NZ, we have an immediate head start as the world sees this country as being clean and green. Organic and biodynamic winemaking is certainly growing. The reason being I believe is multifold, but includes the benefits for the environment, better taste, that it’s nicer to work with in the vineyard, and that our confidence is growing in terms of what can be achieved without the use of nasty chemicals.

  • 9 tantalising gin cocktails

    Gin-lovers of the world will be rejoicing this Saturday as World Gin Day returns for its ninth year. To celebrate the nation's favourite cocktail, we've asked those in the know to share their favourite gin-based cocktails of the moment. Now if these doesn't whet your gin appetite we don't know what will!

     

     

    Floradora Floradora by Pata Negra

    • 40ml of Beefeater gin
    • 20ml of homemade raspberry syrup
    • 20ml of lime juice
    • Top of with Fever Tree ginger ale

    Build & stir. Cubed. Glass: highball 10oz Collins

     

     

     

     

    Gin & Ting Gin & Ting by Pata Negra

    • 25ml Beefeater gin
    • 25ml fino
    • 5ml lime juice
    • Top up with sparkling Ting

    Build & stir. Cubed.

     

     

     

     

    Manor Thyme

    Manor Thyme By Slaughters Manor

    • Brockman’s Gin 50ml
    • Fresh blueberries 5-6
    • Fresh Thyme 2 sprigs ( a few to garnish )
    • Lime juice 20ml ( peel to garnish )
    • Sugar syrup 15ml

    Pick a small amount of thyme and slap the inner and outer of the tumbler, fill with crushed ice. In a shaker muddle blueberries, Brockman’s gin, lime juice, thyme and sugar, shake and double strain over the crushed ice. Garnish with lime peel, thyme and a violet flower.

     

     

    The King Of The Swingers

    The King Of The Swingers by Hyde & Co

    • Beefeater Gin
    • Banana Liqueur
    • Lime Juice
    • Cacao
    • Agave

     

     

     

     

     

    Jerez Flora Club Jerez Flora Club by The Ox Clifton

    • 25ml Beefeater gin
    • 20ml Chase marmalade vodka
    • 5ml Fino sherry
    • 15ml Raspberry syrup
    • 15ml lemon juice
    • 2 dash Peychaud's bitters
    • Egg white
    • Hibiscus flower garnish

     

     

     

    Tea on the Terrace

    Tea on the Terrace By Bambalan

    • Beefeater gin
    • Lychee liqueur
    • Chilled earl grey tea
    • Lemon juice
    • Viola flowers

     

     

     

    martini with a twist - Dakota

     

    Gin martini with a twist by Dakota Hotel Group

    • 50ml Tanqueray 10
    • 12.5ml Lillet Blanc

    Stirred over ice and served up in a Nick & Nora glass and garnished with a grapefruit twist.

     

     

     

     

    One in Five - Dakota

    Five in One by Dakota Hotel Group

    • 35ml Thomas Dakin
    • 25ml St Germain
    • 15ml D.O.M Benedictine
    • 15ml Gomme
    • 20ml Lemon juice
    • One egg white

    Dry shaken, wet shaken, served up in a coupe glass and garnished with a nice bright edible flower.

     

     

     

    IMG_4373

    Southern Collins by The Ox Cheltenham

    • East London Liquor Company Gin Batch No 1
    • Bob’s Grapefruit Bitters
    • Prescott Hill Climb

    An Ox take on a Summer classic, the Tom Collins, our Southern Collins is perfect for long Summer afternoons. Using East London Liquor Company’s Gin and topped up with local beer Prescott Hill Climb this cocktail is finished with a dash of Bob’s Grapefruit Bitters, a brilliantly zingy addition which really lifts the drink.

  • Argentinian Alternatives

    El Esteco Harvest 1

    Malbec has well and truly put Argentina on the wine map – it’s their star grape, like Sauvignon Blanc for New Zealand, Shiraz for Australia, and Chenin Blanc in South Africa.

    Indeed, commenting on the success of this sun-worshipping varietal, Jo Gilbert of Harpers says: “One of the great New World success stories is the rise of Argentinian Malbec, which has become the go-to grape for both supermarket shoppers and trendy restaurants in the UK and also worldwide”.

    It goes without saying that most restaurants and bars around town will have at least one Malbec on their list. Consumers have grown to adore the familiar, plush and velvety notes that are so often found in a glass of Malbec. The variety has lead the revolution of Argentinian wines; and has now cleared the path for what’s starting to unravel.harriet

    Argentinian Buyer Harriet Kininmonth says: “Today’s UK market is evolving and consumers are increasingly on the hunt for provenance and distinction, craving a premium and enriching experience. To this effect, we are witnessing a newfound curiosity surrounding Argentinean wines beyond Malbec, with a shift in focus towards alternative varieties, regionality and altitude.“

    So it’s settled; we’re experiencing an identifiable move beyond Malbec, but what exactly is next for Argentina in terms of varietals?

    Phil Crozier, Director of Wine at Gauchos – also known to respond to the moniker Mr Argentina – has an idea. While he admits Malbec will always be king, he says there are a raft of exciting new wines vying for their time in the sun.

    “In terms of white, we absolutely focus on Torrontes, since it’s an indigenous varietal. For me, Semillon has a great future in Argentina – there’s so much history behind the grape, and a few new winemakers are ensuring its revival. White blends, however, are the way to go. There’s more complexity, with Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Semillon and Torrontes, and they seem to blend very well. This is especially true of wines from the Uco valley, with lean and tight characteristics being the order of the day”, Phil says. 

    “When you look at reds, an entry-level Bonarda is excellent value; I do find that an equivalent-priced Malbec doesn’t match the value of simple and pure Bonarda. At the higher end it also delivers, with rich, soft and silky tannins.

    “Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular option, especially for those who have yet to be seduced by Malbec.

    phil blob

    “Without doubt, Cabernet Franc is the runner-up in the Argentine steaks. It will take a while, but I think this varietal can go where Malbec goes too, in terms of quality and identity”, Phil says.

    Phil’s not alone in his sentiments on Cab Franc; indeed, Argentinian wine writer Joaquín Hidalgo says it’s the promise on everyone’s lips.

    When looking to pinpoint what might be the next big thing to come out of a wine producing region or country, the source of truth can, more often than not, be traced back to winemakers themselves and what they’re drinking from the area.

    In recent years, the murmur among Argentinian winemakers is that Cabernet Franc is that next big thing; it’s what they’re all drinking.

    Change however, won’t come quickly, nor will this upshoot of exciting new wines knock Malbec off its perch; however, what can be surmised is that the future is bright for alternative Argentinian varieties.

    Compared with last year, we’re seeing growing number of Enotria&Coe customers thinking outside the box and expanding their Argentinian lists to include the likes of Torrontes, Cabernet Franc, Bonarda and Tannat.

    Looking at our Argentinian portfolio, Harriet says: “We are very excited about our range, which boasts unprecedented diversity, equipped with some of the most desired brands in the market. From Bonarda to Torrontes, from Tannat to Cabernet Franc, our new selection can cover all the new trends and demands, and proves that Malbec isn’t the only Messi in the team.”

    daniel pi blog

    Head of Winemaking at Peñaflor Daniel Pi has embraced the movement towards wines of finesse that express the nuances of their terroir: “This year [2016] we’ll be making wines which we have been fantasising about: reds armed with freshness, slightly thinning in the mouth. It’s not what we’re used to, but it’ll surprise the consumers”.

    Earlier this year, Tim Atkin MW, spent three weeks in Argentina tasting hundreds of wines for his annual report. During this time, he caught wind of the changing landscape of the country’s wine industry, noting as much in his conclusion of the trip.

    “Stylistically I noticed that the wines are finer, lighter and more elegant than in other times. There is good structure in most reds, but there is less oak and alcohol is beginning to decrease. There is a turn towards gastronomic wines, wines to accompany a dish instead of wines that are a meal by themselves. In many cases, I found wines that are fresh and easy to drink. These allow for better appreciation of the personality of the place where they are made. If we’re talking about trends, this is what stands out for me in Argentina today and I really like it.”

    When it comes to Malbec, Tim notes that without a doubt it’s very important, but pointed out the fact that it represents just 10% of the total vineyards in the country.

    “From my point of view, Argentine wine producers have two ways to go, not one or the other but both simultaneously. With Malbec, continue to work with precision on the origin. There is a lot of diversity to show the world about these wines. We must begin to explain that a Malbec from Perdriel, San Pablo, La Consulta, Salta, Gualtallary, Río Negro, Las Compuertas or Altamira is not the same.

    “The second path is the diversity of types of wines that are produced in the country. There are almost a hundred different cultivated grapes that give the possibility to elaborate very different wines, and it has to be shown. This year I tasted Albariño, Verdejo, Mourvedre, Grenache, unique wines that are very enthusiastic and will surprise many. In addition, other grapes, such as Assyrtiko, Furmint, Nero D’Avola, Vermentino or Mencia, can be cultivated and should work very well.

    “While Malbec is the best-known variety in Argentina, those who search a little deeper are surprised by the huge amount of styles and wines that exist,” Tim said.

  • Spotlight on LaOsa

    We sat down with Noelia da Paz, of the newest addition to our Spanish portfolio, LaOsa. 

    How did you become a winemaker?

    In or around 1998, my father and his brothers bought some vineyards, and shortly after they built a winery. Because of my personality and experience, they asked me to work with them. And while I had never worked in wine before, I had a lot of experience in sales. It didn’t take long for me to fall passionately in love with wine and everything that goes into the production and enjoyment of it. It was clearly my life path and I felt that everything I had done and worked for, led me to this path.

    What is the story of your winery?

    Unfortunately, in 2014, for personal family reasons, the winery was sold. However, I couldn’t abandon my passion and wanted to find a way to continue. At the start of 2015 I started my own brand, my own label. Everything inside of me pushed me to do it, even though I didn’t necessarily stop and think about it too much. With all the experience and the contacts I had, it was easy to continue on. I rented a winery in the area and started procuring grapes to make my first harvest. 

    LaOsa_4

    What’s your winemaking philosophy?

    The philosophy of the project is the respect for the authenticity of the regions, traditional varieties and winemaking process. In order to complete my mission of elaborating small productions of high quality, expressive wine, it takes time, and a respect the varieties and the land.

    Tell us about the grapes – why are they special and what are their characteristics?

    LaOsa_7The main varieties are “Prieto Picudo red” and “Albarín white”. They are indigenous from León, at the moment “Prieto Picudo” can only be found here. The Albarín blanco hails from the south of León and to the north in Asturias, and there are around 30ha in León. Prieto Picudo bunches are small, tight and the grapes have a pointy shape and are quite blue colour. The ripening is late and the harvest is usually done in late September or early October. The Prieto Picudo variety is characterized by its vegetable notes in both nose and mouth, marked by tannin and high acidity. Due to these main characteristics of the grape, it is excellent for producing wines with long ageing in oak as well as longer ageing in the bottle. Albarín bunches are very small, with thick skins and a juicy, very flavourful flesh. The grapes are harvested with low yields. It is very aromatic with beautiful citrus and floral notes, with a great balance of alcohol, fruit and acidity. 

    What does Trasto mean?

    I want the project to reflect who I am; everything I do means something to me. Trasto means rascal, and like the label says, my Mama used to call me a rascal. The design of the label makes me a bit nostalgic for my childhood, the writing and calligraphy of grade school and the mention of my Mama. I would like to continue being a rascal and never lose my spark!

    What is the meaning behind the bear logo and the winery name?

    LaOsa is my nickname, I gave myself this name. I love bears, they’re tender yet strong, with a savage character. When it came time to design the logo, the graphic that I brought to the designer was the head of a Grizzly. After working on it for a long time, we consider the logo to be much more tender and feminine, and most of all personal.

    LaOsa_6

    What are the characteristics of the region?

    León is a flat highland in the southwest of León in Castilla y León. The soil is clay with river stones and it’s close to 750m in altitude. León has a continental climate with long, cold winters, and summers that have hot days and cold nights.

    Who are your greatest wine heroes/influences?

    For me Raúl Pérez has been a very important influence. I have been lucky to know him and call him a friend for a long time. He showed me how to make wine with passion not based on technical data.

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