Istria’s best wines – a brief round up

Decanter magazine’s September 2014 issue features my regional profile of Istria, arguably Croatia’s finest wine region – an area deserving a lot more attention than it currently gets. The wines and producers recommended in that article were necessarily constrained by what was available on the UK retail market at the time of writing. Here’s a more […]

Permaculture in Slovenia: Visiting Miha and Ivan Batic

There’s an almost reactionary view that winemakers who practice organic or biodynamic viticulture end up having to be more, rather than less interventionist in the vineyard. The theory goes that instead of a single (noxious) spraying to knock out mildew/pests/anything else living, the organic or biodynamic vigneron will have to tramp through their vineyard countless […]

Fulvio Bressan – Taking the long-term view

Winemaking has developed significantly in the last few decades. Winemakers now routinely draw on a vast canon of research, learning and technology to help ensure that they produce consistent wines and harvest fruit in prime condition, year in, year out. Vintage variation, of the sort that wrote off most early 90’s Bordeaux, is almost a […]

Super Istrian meets Southern Plavac

The Morning Claret is delighted to be going on a brief sojourn to Istria later this week. Having travelled a couple of times in the Southern part of Croatia, I’m fascinated to see what the North of the country has to offer. By way of preparation, I cracked open two wines on Saturday night – […]

Molto passione vino

This week, my favourite mild-mannered winemaking genius Sandi Skerk  was in London, at a stellar tasting organised by Italian specialist importer Passione Vino. I’d previously tasted many of the Skerk wines at the vineyard as barrel samples, so it was great to compare that with the final bottlings – in this case all from the 2009 vintage. The […]

Smoke on the water – Hungarian Wine House tasting

Any bon-viveur worth their salt will be familiar with Hungary’s most famous vinuous export – Tokaji Aszu. This luscious yet refreshing nectar has assured Hungary’s place on the international wine map for the last 400 years. Additionally, those of a certain age may remember when Eger Bikavér (AKA “Bull’s Blood”) was king. Sadly this deep-hued, […]

Dalmatia Part 2: Pelješac peninsula, Dingač and the wines of the Bura family

The Pelješac peninsula runs parallel to the Dalmatian coastline like a finger, with just a tiny sliver of adjoining land stopping it from becoming an island. It’s a dry, mountainous landscape, with quiet villages and sandy beaches spread around the coast. We’re here to learn about the legendary wines of Dingač and Postup – Croatia’s […]

Mar i Terra y Juan Garcia

An unplanned nutrition requirement near Waterloo led to an excellent discovery tonight. Mar i Terra is a cosy yet bustling tapas restaurant buried on a Southwark backstreet. I can never resist an obscure grape variety, so the Arribes de Vettonia Juan Garcia Crianza 2007  was a must-have choice from an excellent and lovingly annotated wine […]