Malvasia Weekend

Malvasia Weekend © 2016 . All rights reserved.

Salina is one of the Y-shaped group of Unesco-protected volcanic islands that rise out of the azure-coloured waters off the north-east coast of Sicily. It is one of the mystical sounding Aeolian Islands, the name conjuring up images of Odysseus … Continue reading

Anteprima Amarone

Valpolicella © 2016 . All rights reserved.

Valpolicella is a wine region we all think we know. Many of us may have cut our teeth on this light, fruity red when we first began to drink wine, but, like in many great wine regions, nothing stands still. I discovered there is always something more to learn on my first trip of 2016 when I attended the 13th edition of Anteprima Amarone. This is the big showcase event where the newly-released Valpolicella Amarone wines are first shown to the press at the end of January; it is held in the beautiful city of Verona in the Veneto. Continue reading

Wine Without Borders

Looking out over the borders between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, near Trieste © 2014 . All rights reserved.

After the Second World War, an interim Yugoslav-Italian border was drawn up by the Allied Forces and then re-drawn again by the Allies and Tito in 1947 when he established a unified Yugoslavia. Almost overnight, extended families found themselves separated by a border with wine producers having some of their vineyards in Italy while their homes were in Yugoslavia, now Slovenia. Continue reading


Piemonte vineyard © 2014 . All rights reserved.

The chance to taste a whole selection of wines made from the rare, white Timorasso  grape variety was too tempting an opportunity to miss so in June I jumped at the offer to make this trip to the less well … Continue reading

Malvasia Volcánica!

Lanzarote vineyard © 2014 . All rights reserved.

I had a very different idea of Malvasia before I visited Lanzarote. My first impressions were of a variety that was round, fat and simple – a little oily perhaps with low aromatics. Several examples that I tasted from warm areas in the South of France seemed to confirm that description and it wasn’t a grape variety I sought out much. Continue reading


Garofoli 'Lollo' bottles. Photo © Susan Hulme MW 2013 © 2014 . All rights reserved.

  The Marche (pronouced Mar-Kay) is a region full of surprises! It has such a lot to offer. Situated a third of the way down the Eastern (Adriatic) side of Italy, sandwiched between Emilia-Romagna to the north, the Abruzzo to … Continue reading


Planeta © 2013 . All rights reserved.

Every time I visit Planeta there is something new happening. A dynamic attitude and the art of never standing still has taken them from a company that only planted its own vineyards in the mid 1980’s to quickly becoming one … Continue reading

Alsace gems

Colmar © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Domaine Weinbach Faller is a powerful name in Alsace. They are one of a handful of producers at the top of their game and they produce some of the very best examples of Alsace’s distinctive style of Gewürztraminer. When I … Continue reading

The Magic of Sicily

Etna smoking © 2012 . All rights reserved.

Sicily was my first love. It was my first encounter with the heady, exotic mix of southern Mediterranean culture, landscape and food. Sicily bewitched me and left its mark upon my memory. I remember the drama of the landscape and … Continue reading