Out with the alt, in with the nieuw

A few days before the end of 2013, I said goodbye to Eisenstadt, the tiny Austrian town that has been my home for most of the year. New adventures in Amsterdam are calling – but this blog isn’t supposed to be autobiographical, so let’s get back to the wine. Eisenstadt may be small, but it’s […]

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 […]

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, […]

Rock the Carso (Friuli Part 1)

Friuli-Venezia Giulia is Italy’s most North-Easterly region. Like many European border areas, Friuli has a composite identity made up of Italian, Slovenian and Teutonic cultures. Those borders, which can seem so trivial now (on our visit, we drifted into Slovenia and back, with nary a battered sign to remind us), have been hard fought over […]

Dalmatia Part 3: Korta Katarina

In my previous post I wrote about a family wine-producing micro-enterprise. The Bura winery produces only around 2,000 bottles each of their key wines, Bura Dingač and Mare Postup. I visited Boris Mrgdić and the Bura family in the morning. That afternoon, by way of contrast, I spent a few hours at Korta Katarina, an […]

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 […]

A brace of Rieslings

I’m not sure if there are collective nouns for different grape varieties – in general we talk about flights of wine, so why not a brace of Rieslings, a gaggle of Gewurztraminers or even a congress of clarets? German white wines are often misunderstood in the UK, which is a shame in some ways (they […]

Birthday vinucopia

I have to write a brief post about my very enjoyable birthday celebration, last week. What better place than Green and Blue (of which I have spoken before) – good atmosphere, brilliant wines, and enough high quality nutrition to keep everyone from falling under the table. As we ended up being a party of 14, […]

A Balkan take on Burgundy – Matošević Alba Barrique 2008 (Obscure white grapes, Part 3)

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to try a Croatian white wine, without troubling the budget airlines. There is no shortage of high quality wine to be found throughout Dalmatia and Istria, but close to nothing reaches the UK. Therefore, when I saw the Matošević Alba Barrique 2008 on sale at Cartwright Brothers […]