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.
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
Tricky things these artisan-made natural wines. Some days they sing, others they sulk. I presented 17 orange wines to a large group of Dutch sommeliers back in May, and although there were gems, many of the classics just weren’t showing their best. La Castellada’s Ribolla Gialla and COS’s Pithos Bianco seemed particularly grumpy, passing muster
In November 2014, I met five winemakers at a small tasting in San Floriano del Collio. Quietly spoken and rather shy, Mitja Miklus from the Draga estate seemed to blend into the background. But this young chap is smart – he doesn’t need to adopt the bluster of a salesman, his wines do the talking quite well by themselves.