Judgement of British Columbia. Photo by WineBC.com

The Okanagan Valley in Canada’s British Columbia represents 3,575 of the total 4,249 vineyard hectares planted in the State. The most planted grape varieties in descending order are: Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc across 185 registered wineries.
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Okanagan On The Up

Steven Spurrier - Judgement of British Columbia. Photo by WineBC.com The Okanagan Valley in Canada’s British Columbia represents 3,575 of the total 4,249 vineyard hectares planted in the State. The most planted grape varieties in descending order are: Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc across 185 registered wineries. […] Read more >>

Dry Chile

Jamie Ross - There’s no starker image of Chile’s water crisis than Laguna de Aculeo – or what’s left of it. Six years ago it was a scenic 12-square-kilometre lake close to Maipo Valley wine country, on which weekenders from Santiago sailed and jet skied. Now it’s empty. The water receded until it vanished completely last year, leaving […] Read more >>

Monferace, Grignolino Reborn

Robin Kick MW - Noble, refined and pure. These are some of the words that those who know Grignolino well use to describe it. Yet, the variety lingers in the Piemontese shadow of the mighty Nebbiolo and Barbera grapes. In its homeland of Asti/Monferrato, an area that encompasses most of its vineyards as well as Grignolino’s greatest terroir, only […] Read more >>

2019 Loire – Six In A Row!

Jim Budd - Muscadet Pickers Incredibly 2019 is the sixth good quality vintage in the Loire. Incredible because the Loire has never in its recorded history seen six consecutive good to very good vintages – previously a run of three good years has tended to be the maximum that the Loire enjoyed. Since the start of the new […] Read more >>

Montalcino’s Rollercoaster 2019 Vintage

Monty Waldin - Organic Brunello grapes about to be harvested at Col d'Orcia for 2019 Brunello ‘Very happy and rather relieved’ are the words many Montalcino growers might use to describe their feelings following the 2019 harvest. It’s one to file under the ‘abundant but turbulent’ category. Warm, wet spring weather at the end of March provoked an […] Read more >>

Kincade Fire

Norm Roby - HEALDSBURG, CA - OCTOBER 28: A stone facade is all that remains standing at the Soda Rock Winery, which was destroyed by the Kincade fire. (Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) In the late evening of October 23rd, the Kincade Fire, as it came to be known, was started when gusty winds […] Read more >>

The Japanese Indigenous Grape – Koshu

Peter McCombie - Koshu is said to be Japan’s only indigenous grape. It is named after its supposed prefecture of origin: Yamanashi. Koshu is a traditional name for the prefecture, so the grape is literally ‘the grape of Yamanashi’. It has two origin stories. One suggests Koshu was found growing wild in Yamanashi in 1186, allegedly grown from […] Read more >>

Connecting Art and Wine

Steven Spurrier - On a Saturday evening at the end of September I found myself at the Sladers Yard Gallery in West Bay, Dorset, near to where we live, to attend a private view of collages and sculptures by the acclaimed Tuscan-born artist Marzia Colonna, whose work I began collecting thirty years ago when Bella and I moved […] Read more >>

Madiran

Stephen Brook - It’s been 15 years since my last visit to Madiran. I’d forgotten how pretty it was, with its gently rolling Gascon hills interspersed with woodland and vines. But no one would call the wine pretty. Made principally from Tannat grapes, though often softened with a dose of Bordelais varieties, it can be a bruiser, thanks […] Read more >>

Autumnal Rosé

Jason Tesauro - Repeat after me: Rosé is not a vegetable, rosé is not a vegetable. Yet, people still refer to rosé season. There is no rosé season any more than there is a season for white, red, sparkling or sweet. Remember when umami was finally recognized as an official fifth taste along with sweet, sour, salty and […] Read more >>

Questions asked and some answered…

Susan Keevil - To fully answer the question ‘is Bordeaux better than burgundy?’, I shall sadly never have a cellar (or pocket) deep enough. But there are wine writers from across the ages who have had access to the best of these fabulous wines (we’re talking family money here, stately homes with cellars stacked with Lafite, and colleagues […] Read more >>

Sustainability in Bordeaux

James Lawther MW - Believe it or not, the ‘S’ word is being voiced in Bordeaux. Sustainability has been pushed to the fore and whether through concern for the environment and terroir, or having to face health and safety issues, an environmental movement in various guises is gaining traction. Recent figures from the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de […] Read more >>

The Rosés of Italy’s Salento Peninsula

Elizabeth Gabay MW - Puglian rosé (rosato) has deep roots. There is even a local family name Rosato. Recognition in the wider world for the rosati of the southern part of the Salento peninsula can be traced back to 1943, when a twist of fate brought American General Charles Poletti to the region. In need of army supplies, he […] Read more >>

South Australia Loosens The Stays

Natasha Hughes MW - At first glance, no one would take Steve Pannell for a member of the aristocracy. On the morning I meet him at his McLaren Vale winery, he’s wearing slightly crumpled khaki shorts, a stripey T-shirt and several days’ worth of greying stubble on his chin. Make no mistake, though; if Australia’s winemaking community had a […] Read more >>

A Large Reserve Brings Many Benefits

Giles Fallowfield - Alice Paillard ‘We have a lot to thank Jean-Claude Rouzaud for,’ says Alice Paillard. We (Alice and I) were talking about the just completed 2019 Champagne harvest and how wine growers generally seem more prepared to wait for the perfect moment to pick grapes, rather than rush into the vineyards the minute the opening dates […] Read more >>

God’s Work

Joe Fattorini - You wait ages for irony, and then three come at once. Here's an explanation of terroir told in a joke by a German historian. ‘An angel came down from heaven to visit a winemaker on the Mosel,’ begins Achim Ochs. We're on a tour of the once mighty wine-trading town of Traben-Trarbach. ‘The winemaker showed […] Read more >>

Tuscany

Geography: Located in central Italy. The climate varies from Mediterranean on the coast to continental inland influenced by the Apennines. Wide variation in day and night temperatures. Grape varieties: Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trebbiano Toscano, Vernaccia Significant DOCGs: Chianti, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimig... For a […] Read more >>

Chianti: The Art of Wine

Steven Spurrier - Peter Femfert, the German owner with his Venetian wife Stefania of Fattoria Nittardi, is an artist. He would not think so, for his main profession consists of running Die Galerie, Frankfurt’s leading art gallery specializing in modern painting and sculpture, so he might say that he works with artists, represents them, befriends and understands them, […] Read more >>

Yields: one tool to balance supply and demand in Champagne

Giles Fallowfield - Champagne producers agreed to set the maximum yield for the 2019 harvest at 10,200 kilos per hectare, 600kgs/ha down on the base level set for 2018, to produce around 300 million bottles. The CIVC Comité that represents the two sides of the champagne business – the growers and the merchant houses (négociants) – see this […] Read more >>

Loire: Five Top Restaurants

Jim Budd - La Promenade Restaurant If I am asked for a really good Loire restaurant, here are five that I would always recommend. One is in Anjou, three are in Touraine and one in Chavignol by Sancerre. They are favourites because they are consistently good, the cooking is inventive without being gimmicky and their food is complemented […] Read more >>

California: The Happy Valley

Norm Roby - Winemaker Joe Webb punching down Pinot Noir Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, once dismissed as too ‘remote’, ‘sparsely populated’ and ‘laid back’ is now arguably the most exciting New World region for Pinot Noir. What happened? Located over 125 miles northwest of San Francisco, it remains remote. But it is a rare transverse valley, running east to […] Read more >>

England: Back to the 1970s

Stephen Skelton MW - Winning the Gore-Browne Trophy for the ‘English Wine of the Year’ in 1980 In 1974, at the tender age of twenty-seven I had the wild notion that there might be a future in growing grapes and making wine in the English countryside. At the time, the industry – not that anyone called it that then […] Read more >>

Champagne: A Question of Yield

Giles Fallowfield - Champagne producers agreed to set the maximum yield for the 2019 harvest at 10,200 kilos per hectare, 600kgs/ha down on the base level set for 2018, to produce around 300 million bottles. The CIVC Comité that represents the two sides of the champagne business – the growers and the merchant houses (négociants) – see this […] Read more >>

China: Burying Vines in Winter

CH’NG Poh Tiong - Vines have to be dragged into the ground and buried as the temperature can dive to minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter in Xinjiang It is not possible – not yet anyway – to be buried alive and come back in the flesh. That may be the subject of a future Marvel or DC Comics […] Read more >>

Languedoc: The New Whites

Rosemary George MW - Traditionally the Languedoc is a region of red wines. With the exception of Clairette du Languedoc, all the early appellations concentrated on red and tended to ignore white wine. St. Chinian and Faugères were appellations for red wine in 1982, whereas their white counterparts were not created until 2005. In the extensive Coteaux du Languedoc, […] Read more >>

Eastern Europe – The Hot Spots

Caroline Gilby MW - Sign for the famous Nice Woman Valley in Eger (Hungary) Three decades of being a lone voice in the wilderness and how things have changed. Judges are now fighting for a spot at my Decanter World Wine Awards tables whereas a few years ago it was definitely seen as a short straw. Today there are […] Read more >>

Chile: País – The Cinderella Grape

Darren Smith - Tino, one of the campesinos who helps Roberto Henriquez, is loading País grapes into the back of his car in Santa Juana Southern Chile is one of the coolest regions in the world in which to make wine. This dawned on me on a misty morning on April 25 2019, when Roberto Henriquez was driving […] Read more >>

Tuscany: Cloud over Montalcino

Monty Waldin - Certified organic Sangiovese vines in Sant Angelo in south west Montalcino Italy’s recent local government streamlining has subsumed smaller townships 'comuni ' into their larger near-neighbours. Now vacated council offices and even rural police stations are morphing into private houses, shops, warehouses and even bakeries and restaurants.  The reforms saw Montalcino, already the largest township in […] Read more >>