Putting theory into practice…

18 10 2016

It’s a long time since I passed my Master of Wine and an even longer time since I picked grapes and worked a short stint in a winery. I’ve visited hundreds of vineyards over the years but they are generally all abroad and I see a snapshot on one day of the year only. Being able to study the vines and monitor the grapes on a weekly basis at the Royal Agricultural University’s vineyard outside Cirencester, has been a real eye-opener and I have learnt so much!

1. How quickly a vine produces grapes from the flowering. In just 100+ days from early July to now.

2. How many grapes a vine can produce! We had a small yield this year but there were still 3.5 tonnes of grapes to harvest.

3. How many diseases there are trying to trip you up at every stage and how assiduous you have to be with your spraying programme.

4. How calming it is to work in the vines when all is going well but also how stressful it is when there are problems.

5. How you need a good team of people with complimentary skills. How much fun it is. How great the feeling is of getting the grapes safely harvested, pressed and in the vats.

Now I’m looking forward to the winemaking phase and learning just as much.img_5495 img_5500 img_5511 img_5518 img_5525 img_5535 img_5537 img_5541


Glass Matters

7 10 2016

Would you believe that the same wine tastes different out of these three different glasses? I wouldn’t have believed until yesterday. Riedel – The Wine Glass Company held a tasting in London yesterday tutored by Maximilian Riedel. It’s all to do with the rim diameter and the way the wine flows onto your palate. If it hits the tip of your tongue first where you taste sweetness, it makes the wine taste more fruit-forward, the other glasses accentuated the dry tannins. Different wines need different sizes of glass too. A subtle Pinot Noir was swamped in the big egg-shaped glass but loved the diamond shape, whereas a big spicy Aussie Cab needed the big glass to show all its fruit. Fascinating. I am now a convert!img_5426