Wineries can soak up a lot of money – as per the popular industry joke “How do you make a million in wine? Answer: Start with two million”. The landscape is littered with vinous vanity projects created by wealthy industrialists, downsizing media tycoons or hollywood stars who can afford to blow fortunes on pipe dreams.
I’m seeing more and more Romorantin in London and loving it. That’s saying something, with a grand total of only 70 hectares in existence. But what makes it more special is that it happens to produce great wine. Romorantin is grown around the Cour-Cheveny AOC in the Middle Loire, between Orléans and Tours. The Cailloux
Allard Arisz is definitely a glass half full character. After 16 years in the wine distribution business, his Amsterdam North warehouse burnt down on March 7th this year. Some 30,000 bottles of wine were destroyed in the blaze, representing most of the company’s stock. Some might take that as a sign, time to shut up
This is an updated and significantly longer version of an article which originally appeared in Issue 2/2017 of Meininger’s Wine Business International with additional input from Joseph di Blasi, and Geoff Cowey. And yes, another outing for that photo…. Imagine a yoghurt manufacturer decides one day that using predictable, laboratory cultured lactic bacteria to create their
I’m a huge fan of Georgian qvevri wines – that’s to say, wines made in the 8,000 year old traditional manner, where grapes, skins and sometimes stems are piled into a 500 – 2,000 litre clay amphora-like vessel, buried up to its neck in the ground. The challenge has always been how to get hold of them. But times are changing and one adventurous Dutch wine merchant “Andere Wijn” has hugely expanded their Georgian range.
Damijan Podversic’s decision in 1999 to reject his conventional winemaking education, in favour of a more “back to the roots” style, did not sit well with his dad who denied him usage of the family’s ancestral cellar. Since then he’s developed an impressive and tradition style of skin macerated white wines, following in the footsteps of Josko Gravner.
Tbilvino is based in western Georgia’s Kakheti – the country’s most important wine region. A product of the modern age, Tbilvino was conceived in a post-communist world – their first commercial vintage was 1999. They’re pretty successful, producing around 3 million bottles a year, most of which are sold to Russia, other ex-soviet countries and China – well established markets for Georgian wine.
Since 2010, Tbilvino markets a small range of wines made in qvevri – currently a Rkatsiteli and a Saperavi, with a Kisi just about to be released. The “Qvevris” Rkatsiteli has made it onto the shelves of Marks and Spencer at the bargain price of £10, in an M&S branded guise.
I’m not sure that I have heroes anymore – and those I once had were certainly not wine writers. That said, if I did, and if they were, Hugh Johnson OBE would be a candidate. Several of his books are on my shelf, and his writings have accompanied my entire journey into wine over the last 25