Wine news May 2013

Come taste with me: Cahors at LWTF

fair logoIt’s for members of the wine and hosptitality trade only unfortunately, but if you are heading along to Excel in London for the International Wine Trade Fair later this month, do please note that I am presenting one of the Fair’s Masterclass Tastings on Tuesday 21st May at 1:30pm. The masterclass is entitled ’50 Shades of Black – The Malbec Wines of Cahors’ and we’ll be taking tasters through six of the very top wines of the region, selected by me from over 200 tasted in Cahors in February. It’s first come; first served, so please do get along to the Masterclass Theatre early. More details and registration for the Fair at

Summer in the City

Vinho Verde logoAnd what wine could be more summery than Vinho Verde? This annual tasting is terrific fun. I was honoured to present the masterclass during the daytime event for the trade last year on the riverside in London, but for this first time this year the tasting is also being opened up to the public in the evening, from 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Go along to taste from over 100 wines representing over 20 producers, including the winners of the annual Vinho Verde tasting competition. You must pre-register for the event which is being held in the Millbank tower not far from Westminster, and it is strictly over 18s only.

Loire App

screen‘Click ‘n Visit – Vins du Centre-Loire’ is a multimedia guide for smartphones designed to appeal to tourists heading for the Centre-Loire region. The app has been created for the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre and is available in English and French versions. It covers nearly 400 wine domaines from the Centre-Loire as well as sites of special interest, restaurants and places to stay. There’s information about producers from the eight appellations within the Centre-Loire : Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, Coteaux du Giennois, Châteaumeillant and Pouilly-Loire. Each entry features videos, maps, and suggested activities. The app also features a real-time geo-location feature which allows each user to organise their own bespoke itinerary. Users can contact domaines they wish to visit either by email or telephone and store contacts in a special address book. There’s a promise that the app will be updated on a daily basis with content from the Bureau Interprofessionnel. The app is available to download on Apple and Android phones.

Rich Wine List

wm grantThe ‘Rich List’ published by the Sunday Times each year always makes for interesting reading, leaving one goggle-eyed at the fortunes amassed by the world’s wealthiest individuals. Now trade magazine ‘The Drinks Business’ has put together its own list showing the worth of the 10 wealthiest individuals involved in the UK wine sector. It makes fascinating reading: 1) The Grant and Gordon family (Wm Grant & Sons) £1,400 million; 2) The Earl of Iveagh (Diageo) £850 million; 3) Roger & Peter De Haan (Bancroft Wines) £800 million; 4) Sir Douglas Myers (Lion Nathan) £448 million; 5) Tim Martin (JD Wetherspoons) £193 million; 6) Judy Halewood (Halewood International) 185 million; 7) Aaron and Tania Hillman (Tomintoul distillery) £150 million8) John Apthorp (Majestic) £125 million; 9) Tony and Barbara Laithwaite: £125 million; 10) John Rudd (Berry Bros. & Rudd) £122 million

Bringing the House Down?

ysios wineryThe news that a winery is suing an architect over a leaky roof might not normally make a news story, but then this is no ordinary roof. The Ysios winery in Rioja has become one of the most iconic winery buildings in the world, and along with Frank Gehry’s building at nearby Marques de Riscal, surely one of the most photographed, principally because of its extraordinary roofline. Now owners Bodegas Domecq have announce that the building has “seriously deteriorated,” with temperature changes causing fixtures to break and parts coming loose. Despite several attempts by architect Santiago Calatrava to fix the problems, none have succeeded and the bodega is now suing his practice for €2 million. It is believed that, if successful, the money will be used to build an entirely new roof designed by another architect.