The Morning Claret

Simon J Woolf & Friends on Wild and Wonderful Wines


11 minute read

Ten years of The Morning Claret

The Morning Claret turns 10 years old today – so in its honour, I decided to tell the full story or how and why it started, and what it’s done for me since.

Iago Bitarishvili - Photo (C) Simon Kolezik All Rights Reserved
14 minute read

Georgia’s new age of amber

Simon takes a look at the extraordinary expansion in traditional qvevri winemaking in Georgia. What does it mean for quality, and how do you know what’s really in the bottle? With some notes about the OIV’s new skin macerated white wine category, which should help Georgia to classify its output more precisely.

Valentina Passalacqua insta shot
27 minute read

Valentina Passalacqua – an inconvenient truth?

The arrest of Valentina Passalacqua’s father, on charges of using illegal labour gangs (caporalato) has shocked the natural wine world – who were previously in love with Valentina and her wines. Simon J Woolf investigates and sets out the background and the context for this challenging affair.

7 minute read

Rage against the machine

Hannah outlines why vineyard work can be incredibly divorced from the end product, and has some suggestions on how it can be rehumanised

Edvard Reya
7 minute read

Five up-and-coming Slovenian winemakers

Simon profiles five up-and-coming Slovenian winemakers, from four different regions – Emeran Reja from Brda, Fedora from Vipava, Polič from Istra plus Matic & Keltis from Štajerska.

Picture (c) Hannah Fuellenkemper
6 minute read

Hand harvesting isn’t the half of it

I hate the hoorah implied by ‘hand-picked’. I hate it more round about the fourth-plus week of repetitive vineyard work. At the worst of times in the vines, ‘bored’ is an understatement. But ‘hand-picked’ is a misrepresentation. Not everything is blockbuster work but everything is done by hand — and once you’ve completed one task, in a couple weeks you’ll be back at the same vine again.